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IPL Staff in New Delhi 06 May 2012 - 09:10pm IST

We will keep KKR guessing: Jayawardene

DD batsman tightlipped about batting order ahead of KKR match

Delhi Daredevils vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene lauded his team’s performance so far in DLF IPL 2012, and also spoke about his own batting form while addressing the media ahead of the match against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Excerpts from Jayawardene’s media interaction:

On his batting form


I like to spend more time out there in the middle and contribute. But when I came in [the team] I batted at No.4 and then I opened the batting. I had a couple of good starts, [but] did not make it big. But that happens. And then, I had one good knock against Mumbai [Indians], then a run-out against Pune [Warriors India]. So a bit of an up and down, but I feel very comfortable hitting the ball very well. So if I can spend more time out there in the middle it would be good.

On whether he is going to open or bat in the middle order now that David Warner has joined the team

I don’t know where I am going to bat. We will keep KKR guessing overnight. We knew that with the players that we have, we have to be very flexible and that had to happen in our kind of set-up, with we used Irfan [Pathan] in different places, we used Yogesh [Nagar] in different places. So we will be flexible. And it’s about guys understanding their roles in the team and try and finish games off and get us into a position that we are comfortable with. So that’s what we are trying to do so. Definitely, with Davy [David Warner] coming in, things will be different. Kevin [Pietersen] had a great season, but we just need to continue to do all the right things. So we will try and do that.

On David Warner replacing Kevin Pietersen in the team

You will never replace a certain player. [...] Kevin has got unique strengths about him and Davy has got different strengths about him. I have seen him in the last few IPLs [and] what he can do with the bat. So it’s never going to be a direct replacement. It’s about another player coming in, and us, as a team, changing our way of playing to suit that combination. So Kevin’s had a great influence on the team with the bat and off the field; also he has been fantastic. And hopefully, Davy will have the same influence on the team [but] in a different way.

On KKR


I think they have got a really good set-up; a good all-round side. Everyone complements each other. I think Gauti [Gautam Gambhir] has done a great job up front; that’s been their strength. The top order is scoring runs. The middle hasn’t been able to get that much of batting in because the top order is scoring so much runs. It is the same thing, so we cannot be complacent about that. We just need to make sure that whatever the game plan that we come up with against KKR, we try and execute it.

That has been our strength. We don’t worry too much about the opposition. We respect them and we come up with a game plan and we try and execute that. It has worked for us in the last three-four weeks, and we will continue to do the same thing.

On whether over a period of time Sunil Narine will become more predictable


It will happen to any bowler. If you see over the years any bowler who will come with a different variety will have a honeymoon period and then once the guys analyse him and get to play him moer often the batsmen will adjust and then that’s the challenge that the bowlers will have to try and improve on what they have got. He is a great character to come into the set-up. He has brought something different to the IPL which is great and gives us a great challenge as a batting unit to against him. We are looking forward to that opportunity [of batting against him].

On guarding against becoming complacent after being table toppers


We have kept things very simple with our planning and how we want to execute certain game plans. We focus on how we can keep improving our game very day. It is twenty20 cricket and we will make certain mistakes and we will have bad days and good days but if you continue to do the right things consistently then we will have more good days than bad days. So that is what we are trying to do as a unit. Everyone is trying to improve their game a little every time. So there won’t be any complacency. We will push ourselves till the last game and try and improve as a unit. We always look for things as a team where we could improve with the bowling, batting and fielding so we will focus on that. When you are doing that we won’t take anything lightly and we will keep playing some good cricket.

On whether there is pressure to maintain the top spot


It is a great position to be in rather than be at No 8 or 7 in the position table and pushing for a win everyday. if we can put ourselves under pressure to maintain that No 1 spot that is a positive way of looking at pressure [...]. We want to be at the top when we finish the group stages and we will put ourselves under pressure to do that. That will be a good positive frame of mind to be in and compete with other teams.

On whether there is concern that the lower-order hasn’t got an opportunity to perform since the top-order is getting runs


[...] I am happy that the top-order is getting runs and bowlers are bowling well and we are winning matches. Those are minor headaches for us. [...] we set ourselves goals to finish the table [on ahigh] and get into the playoffs and once you get into the play-offs then we will focus on what we have done so far and then start afresh and try and finish [win] that off. We break down what we want to achieve [in smaller goals]. So it is good for us to be where we are and playing some good cricket and enjoying it.

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