Kolkata: Their fate hanging by a thread, Rajasthan Royals captain Ajinkya Rahane believes his side can still qualify for the playoffs even after a bitter six-wicket defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.
After a great start by Jos Buttler and Rahul Tripathi, Rajasthan were bundled out for 142, which was chased down by KKR in 18 overs Tuesday night.
Rajasthan are fourth in the standings with 12 points from 13 games and will now face a virtual shoot-out on 19 May against a resurgent Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are also in contention in a dogfight with three other teams for the two available playoff berths.
"We still have to believe in ourselves. Anything can happen in cricket, it's a funny game. We have to learn from our mistakes. We were too positive with our batting tonight. But, we have to learn as a team," Rahane said at the post-match news conference last night.
Rahane admitted that they have not batted well this season as they should have posted something around 175-180 on Wednesday, especially after the magnificent start provided by Buttler and Tripathi.
"After the magnificent start given by Rahul Tripathi and Jos Buttler, we did not string any partnerships. It's not about any individual. We lost because we did not apply ourselves in the middle and we needed to get a partnership going. When you get a start like that you have to back yourself," he said.
"We lost because of our batting. Even in the tournament, we did not bat that well except for Buttler whose consistency was good to see. So many things the boys can learn from him. We thought 175-180 was a par score on this wicket."
Their task has become all the more difficult as their English duo of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler played their last match of the season last night. They will head back to their country for a Test series against Pakistan.
But Rahane said Rajasthan have good overseas players to replace the Englishmen.
"Definitely, we will miss Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler. I am really happy for Jos. Because, as a player, it's everyone's dream to represent their country in the longer format. We have got 3-4 overseas players with us, they are equally good.
"I'm sure the boys, especially the overseas players, will step up in the last league game against RCB," he said.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Kohli's announcement comes on the back of his decision to step down as India's T20 captain.
The two-time champions endured an underwhelming first half, losing five of their seven matches and are languishing at the seventh spot.
"I don't know too much, to be honest, at the moment. At present we are expecting the game to go ahead. Things are all fine in our camp. We are looking forward to the game," England vice captain Jos Buttler said.