Bangalore: Kolkata Knight Riders coach Trevor Bayliss is not perturbed that star batsman Yusuf Pathan has failed to make an impact in the first two matches of IPL-V so far.
Considered a specialist in the shortest format, Pathan came a cropper with the bat against the Delhi DareDevils and the Rajasthan Royals. But Bayliss felt the batsman was being unfairly targeted.
“Batting at No.5, Yusuf can’t be expected to come good every time,” said the coach. “He got just six to seven overs to bat. His basic job is to finish the innings off... It is for the batsmen before him to do their jobs so that they can set it up for Yusuf.”
But Pathan was not the only batsman Bayliss defended on the eve of the match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. While admitting that his batsmen failed to deliver the goods, especially against the Rajasthan Royals, Bayliss felt such things won’t happen every time.
“We have our batting line-up ready to take the battle to the rival camp, and once it clicks, things are definitely going to be better,” said the coach. Against the DareDevils, Bayliss said South African Morne Morkel came up with a few good deliveries to wipe out the top order.
“Such things do happen in cricket... Against the Royals, some bad choice of shots and good bowling put us in trouble. I am confident our experienced batsmen would be back in form,” said Bayliss.
The KKR coach was not ready to accept that playing Sunil Narine against the Rajasthan Royals was a mistake.
Asked whether Shakib-al Hasan would come into the team, Bayliss said the star Bangladesh all-rounder was certainly an option for the Royal Challengers tie.
Bayliss is aware that Chris Gayle could play in Tuesday’s match. “Gayle, we know is a huge player capable of turning the game on his own. But at the same time, he is not the only batsman Royal Challengers have in their side... There are other good players, too.
“The Knight Riders have indeed lost two matches but that does not mean our campaign has ended. The boys are upbeat and looking forward to doing well in the rest of the matches. It’s a long competition...”