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Prajakta Pawar in Delhi 24 April 2013 - 01:57am IST

We are making silly mistakes at crucial times: Botha

Now it is all about staying strong as a group

Delhi Daredevils batting woes returned to haunt them as the line-up once again failed to put up a competitive score on the board. Restricted to 120 for the loss of seven wickets at the Feroz Shah Kotla by the Kings XI Punjab, the home team underwent their seventh loss in the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 off eight games.

Although, batting lower down the order, David Warner scored a 36-ball 40, he did not get enough support from the other end. It turned out an uphill task for the bowling attack to defend a below par total, especially after Mandeep Singh and Luke Pomersbach gleaned 33 runs from the second and the third over.

Johan Botha who along with fellow South African Roelof van der Merwe was the more economical of the DD bowlers spoke to iplt20.com after the game. While analysing the loss and the off-spinner also said that with eight matches still to be played the role of the seniors would be to lift the team up.

Excerpts from the interview:

On the loss?

Obviously we didn’t bat well enough again and that’s there for everyone to see and that’s where we were 20-25 runs short and that mattered in the end.

On the batting not clicking again?

I think in twenty20 cricket you have to keep playing your shots, you cannot just try and defend (while batting), you have to go out and play. Against the Mumbai Indians it worked for us but tonight it did not. You can’t go into a shell. That is what Mahela (Jayawardene) and the coaches have been telling the players. You cannot just stop playing and you have to get runs. Runs win you games, unfortunately at the moment we are probably finding the fielders and making silly mistakes at crucial times.

On the strategy to send David Warner lower down the order?

We have obviously got power at the top with Mahela and Viru (Virender Sehwag) who played really well the other day (against MI). We just want to space it out a little bit I think. In the previous two games we had the young Indian players in the middle-order and we just needed some more experience. Davy played really well but the middle-order and the lower-order didn’t really support him so. I think it is the right decision.

On bowling with fellow South African Roelof van der Merwe?


It was great again to play with him. I have missed him. He has obviously been a very passionate player and I have missed that. In the last bit of my career he was not in the team and we have played for a while together in the middle parts of our careers. I have always really enjoyed playing with him he always gives hundred percent and that’s the way I like to play and he is just a great guy to play with.

South African spinners bowling at the Kotla?

It was good. We saw from their innings that the wicket was a bit slow and the seamers bowled straight. It worked pretty well for us as we didn’t have enough runs so they didn’t have to take us on. If we had enough runs, we might have gone for a few more runs but probably got a few more wickets. So hopefully if we get to play together again in the next few games we can do the job for the skipper.

On whether the role of the senior and experienced players in the team now is more crucial?

It is not always about the bat and ball. Now it is about staying strong in the group and picking the guys up around you and taking care of the young Indians guys who probably haven’t been in this situation before. And just to keep lifting your run in the group, we know that we won’t play every game, but when you are in the side and not playing, you got to support the guys who are on the field as much as you can.

On the advice from Sir Viv Richards?

He has been telling us to keep backing us in the team. We have gotten ourselves into this position and can’t just sit back and say, oh that’s the tournament done. We still have to have the belief that we can win five, six or seven in a row and still be in the competition. That’s been the message that the coaches have been telling us. But unfortunately we have just been making those silly mistakes.

On influence of Mushtaq Ahmed on his spin bowling?

Mushy has been good, obviously he has worked with a great off-spinner, Graeme Swann in England so there are a few small things that Mushy has told me. And he has been great not just for me, but for the group he has been a very positive person. He is a great influence around anyone and he is always so calm which is great and I think it is a big thing to have Mushy in the team, not just for spin bowling.

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