Pune: Pune Warriors India head coach Allan Donald Wednesday said it might be the fear of failure that has resulted in openers Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey failing to take advantage of field restrictions at the beginning of their innings during the team’s first two Pepsi IPL games.
“Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa are attacking batsmen, but they seem to have gone into a shell during powerplay. It could be the fear internally,” said Donald ahead of the Warriors’ match against Rajasthan Royals Thursday. “It’s my responsibility to help them. The mission is to get off the blocks and show some intent,” he added.
The Warriors, who have slumped to two straight losses against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab, got a timely boost ahead of their third tie against the Jaipur franchise with Yuvraj Singh declared fit to play. “Yuvraj is fit and will play tomorrow. He was struggling to move last week and was not very mobile,” said Donald.
The team, however, has been hit by a groin strain to another key player — West Indian Marlon Samuels — who has been ruled out as the Warriors did not want to take any chance of aggravating the injury, according to Donald. “Marlon Samuels has a groin strain and is out of the match. He could miss the next one, too. We don’t want to take a risk because it’s a long tournament,” he said.
The Warriors coach conceded that batting has let down the team so far in the tournament. “Our bowling is the only positive. In the first game (against Sunrisers Hyderabad), they were brilliant. In the next match (against Kings XI Punjab), what did we make….100? You can’t defend that kind of a total,” he said.
Chasing a paltry 127 for victory against the Sunrisers, the Warriors were shot out for a mere 104 and then in the second game against KXIP they could post just 99 for nine. Former South Africa pace spearhead said that he was impressed with the Royals’ pace attack. “They have got a good pace attack. Shaun Tait is a world class bowler and Rahul Shukla has been impressive.” (PTI)