IPL 2013: Pune Warriors vs Rajasthan Royals – Live IPL Score
For a team that boasts of some of the game’s biggest hitters, Pune Warriors’ poor show on the batting front has gone from an annoying puzzle to a serious concern.
The failure to chase a modest target of 127 in the first game against Sunrisers was followed by a pathetic total of 99 for nine against Kings XI Punjab in the second game.
What is curious is that batting coach Pravin Amre had worked with Robin Uthappa at an individual level during the first-class season, and despite the long association between the two, the highly-rated Bangalorean has not been able to deliver.
Warriors coach Allan Donald admitted that the prolonged poor form of the batters, especially the top order, has to be halted quickly. “We have not shown the intent, we know that. That’s what we have to address,” the South African said on the eve of the clash against Rajasthan Royals.
“We have not batted well during powerplay. It could be the fear (of failure). Players like Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey are free-flowing batsmen in their own right, but they have gone into a shell. I have not seen that before. But we have got to knuckle down and it’s my responsibility to help them lift their game. The mission tomorrow is get off the blocks and show some intent.”
Yuvraj Singh, who sat out the last game against his former franchise, has been declared fit, but West Indian all-rounder Marlon Samuels will miss Friday’s match, and probably the next one as well, with a groin strain.
Donald said Australian Aaron Finch would come in for Samuels but did not confirm if the 26-year-old Victorian’s inclusion would mean a demotion for Pandey in the batting order.
The 46-year-old said the immediate task ahead of him and the senior members of the team management was to steer the ship through the storm, and insisted that the players had the calibre to rise to the occasion.
“It’s tough for them. Knowing the franchise and the torrid time they have been through in the last two years, I accept that,” said the veteran of 238 South African appearances and 604 international scalps. “We have to keep it tight in the bus. Last year we fell off the bus and we went north, south, east and west. It’s easy to go into a shell, but if we do we are dead as a team.
“(But) we have people on board who can bounce back. The names on paper are not enough to win but we have the character, and now’s the time to take responsibility. At the moment we are scrapping but our intent will be the key. It takes one or two players to show how it’s done and then we are away.”