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Prajakta Pawar in Jaipur 13 April 2013 - 08:42pm IST

RR has a good bowling attack: Lehmann

Coach says KXIP need to bat well

As a team packed with a healthy mix of experienced campaigners like Adam Gilchrist, David Hussey and Azhar Mahmood and youngsters like Mandeep Singh, Manan Vohara, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, the King XI Punjab will be looking to get back to winning ways when they take on the Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Sunday.

While addressing the media on the eve of the match and before training, Coach Darren Lehmann said, “Every game is important for all sides in the tournament especially early on. So, yes we would like to have a crystal ball and like to have a win on the board tomorrow night but we have to play well. The Rajasthan Royals are a very good side and they play very well at home.” 

Besides playing well at home, the Royals have a good pace attack comprising the likes of S Sreesanth and Shaun Tait which had caused trouble for the Kolkata Knight Riders in their previous game at home. Asked about S Sreesanth, the KXIP coach said, “He has bowled well in the past. They have a good bowling attack, not only Sreesanth but they also have Shaun Tait and Siddharth Trivedi is a very experienced player. We will have to bat well, better than we did the other night (against the Chennai Super Kings). But we have looked at all their bowlers and come up with some plans.”

The visitors do not have a good record against RR. However, Lehmann hopes that they can turn things around tomorrow. “Hopefully we change that tomorrow. The wicket looks really good and the curator has done a very good job. It should be a good scoring game. Take stock of the conditions early and play as well with bat and ball.”

Asked if age will be factor in the performance for KXIP, given that they have a few very senior cricketers in the side, he said, “They have been superstars of the game and we expect them to play well regardless of age. We have seen that Rahul Dravid has done really well in this tournament and our guys are going to play well as well.”

“The only one that is not here is Shaun Marsh due to injury. We are all good, a full squad to pick from. Shaun Marsh is still in Australia but everyone else is fit and ready to go.”

Asked if Aniket Choudhary, who knows the ground very well is likely to play tomorrow, Lehmann responded, “He has been exciting and a local boy here and he has done really well for us in the trial games and we have brought him here for specific reason obviously. He knows the wicket here really well but he may play or he may not. I am not going to tell you tonight.”

Speaking about their performance so far in the tournament, he said, “In the first game I think we fared the best in the whole tournament and then the next game was a big let down and that happens when you don’t play well. We prepared as we normally would for any other game. We have got some young players in the side and they are good fielders and I expect a better performance in the field.”

“Our first game was ‘A’ grade and we played really well and in the second game we were poor. But that is just the way it was. As a side we are working towards being more consistent. Off the two games one was very good and the other wasn’t so. I think we need to be more consistent in this tournament and that is what we need to get to.” 

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