First two weeks very crucial: Bayliss

KKR coach says his team needs a good start in IPL 2012

By IPL Staff
Kolkata 04 April 2012
 Kolkata Knight Riders did the City of Joy proud by getting past the league stage of the Indian Premier League for the first time last year. This year, the team looks to do better, having acquired some exciting names in the likes of Brendon McCullum, Marchant de Lange and Sunil Narine. Despite the optimistic outlook about the franchise in IPL 2012, head coach Trevor Bayliss urged a note of caution while speaking to the media ahead of KKR’s first game against the Delhi Daredevils at the Eden Gardens on April 5.

“Our first five or six games are in the first 15-16 days. So, it’s a very important first two weeks of the tournament. Obviously, the first game you want to get off to a good start so that you can go into the rest of the tournament with confidence. Any one team in this competition can win a match on their day, especially if you have a player like [Virender] Sehwag in the opposition,” Bayliss said.

He even sounded a warning that Delhi are not to be taken lightly despite being hampered by the absence of some of their big names – Mahela Jayawardene, David Warner and Kevin Pietersen – who are currently away on international duty.

“We don’t want to take them easy because those players are not here. If we go into the game thinking that way, we might be in for a nasty surprise. We will be going into the match knowing that the replacement players are fully capable of producing good results. We won’t be taking them easy, that’s for sure,” Bayliss said.

“I think it will be a good even game. Hopefully, it’s a good spectacle for the fans of Kolkata,” the KKR coach added.

International names playing alongside Indian players is pretty much the norm in the IPL. With that perspective, Bayliss confirmed that he would use the presence of Brett Lee and Gautam Gambhir in the side to figure out the details of every player, including Virender Sehwag in the opposition.

“We’ve not had our final team meeting as yet. We’ll do that tomorrow before the game. We’ve got the little left-handed captain [Gambhir] who has played fair bit of cricket with Sehwag. A lot of the international guys, whether it is the Indians or the overseas players, have played with each other a lot. I don’t think it is any secret knowing each other’s game. They will be able to pass on the strengths and weaknesses of everyone in the opposition and Sehwag is no different,” he said.

Speaking of the team composition before the match against the Daredevils, Bayliss confirmed that both the South African all-rounders, Jacques Kallis and Marchant de Lange, would be available for tomorrow’s match. With the availability of both those players confirmed, KKR, unlike Delhi, are in the envious position of having a host of international players – Ryan ten Doeschate, Lee, etc – to choose their final four overseas players for tomorrow’s game.

Bayliss agreed to this by saying, “It’s a good position to be in. I’d much rather be in that position rather than wondering who to pick.”

However, when it was pointed out that KKR had the luxury to choose from three world-class options in Gautam Gambhir, McCullum and Kallis for their opening combination, Bayliss responded with humour that KKR might still play “someone else” at that position.
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