Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], May 28 (ANI): Rajasthan Royals opening batter Jos Buttler, whose lethal form helped his team reach the final of IPL 2022, lavished praise for the late Australian spinner Shane Warne and called him an 'influential figure'.
Buttler's unbeaten 106, his fourth ton of the season, powered RR to a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Qualifier-2 here at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday.
RR had clinched the IPL title in the inaugural season in 2008, under Shane Warne's captaincy. It is now after 14 years that the side from Rajasthan has made it to the summit clash of the tournament.
"Shane Warne is such an influential figure for the Rajasthan Royals and having led the team to success in the first season, we will miss him dearly, but we know he is looking down on us with a lot of pride today," said Buttler in a post-match presentation.
Spin legend Warne tragically passed away on March 4 due to a suspected heart attack in Thailand.
Buttler had a blistering run in IPL 2022. With still a game left in the tournament, the Englishman has smashed a whopping total of 824 runs, at an average of 58.86, and a strike rate of 151.47.
"I came into the season with very low expectations, but with a lot of energy and excitement and to be stood here now and have the season I had with such a great team and get us into the finals is incredibly exciting. I had a tournament of two halves. I had some really honest conversations with some close people around me, Kumar Sangakkara and Trevor Penney," said Buttler.
"I was feeling a bit of pressure, getting distracted and I was trying to suppress it and it was only until a week ago or so I opened up inside and talking about that made me feel a lot better going into Kolkata and that innings gave me the confidence that helped today. I am always trying to play the game, what is the game asking me to do any particular time and what skill set do I have to try and use on that particular day," he added.
Coming to the match, great knocks by Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal, followed by a cameo of Sanju Samson helped RR chase down the target of 158 runs in just 18.1 overs. Earlier, Prasidh Krishna and Obed McCoy scalped three wickets each to restrict RCB at 157/8.
Rajasthan Royals will lock horns against debutants Gujarat Titans in the final on Sunday. (ANI)