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Prajakta Pawar in Delhi 22 April 2013 - 07:59pm IST

We will try to keep Sehwag down: Lehmann

Coach says team needs to be more consistent

Kings XI Punjab are set to take on the ‘resurrected’ Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla on the evening of April 23rd. The Adam Gilchrist-led team pulled off an incredible win against the Pune Warriors India in their previous game and will be looking to make it two wins on the trot, something they are yet to do in the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013.

Speaking to the media ahead of the match against the Daredevils, coach Darren Lehmann told the media, “I think every game is vital and the competitions ahead is going to be pretty tight. We would love to get on a roll a bit. Yes, we have not won two in a row but it would be nice to do that now and get a mini roll going. Some teams like the
Royal Challengers Bangalore have had 4-5 wins in a row, we have got to try and get that somewhere. Tomorrow is a different day and hopefully we will play well again.”

While discussing the team combination and their approach for the match against DD, he said, “Delhi has a different wicket as compared to Mohali. I think we will probably have to change our game. It is just the way it is in the competition, some of the wickets are different in the way they play. Daredevils are a very good side at home and obviously they're coming off their first win (which will have given them confidence). They played really well against Mumbai Indians. Every game is tough in this competition. But the combination was good for us on Sunday night. 

Speaking of the team composition, he added, “It depends on who we are playing and where we are playing. DD have played brilliantly no doubt about that. Whether we will play another extra batsman here in Delhi I don’t know so.”

Although they pulled off a win in their last game, KXIP still have areas that they would have to work on and also expect some of their key players to click as the tournament progresses. One of the players who is vital to the team’s success is the captain himself. A destructive player on his day, Adam Gilchrist is yet to fire in the ongoing season.

“We would like him to get a lot more runs, there is no doubt about that. But he brings a lot more to the team. He leads brilliantly on the ground as well as outside and he still keeps really well (although he missed last night). We will make sure that we will pick the right side. Adam is our captain and he has done a very good job for us in the tournament. So yes we would like more runs from him, he would like more runs.”

Speaking about the youngsters in their side, Lehmann observed, “They are great young kids. They are excited and they have got talent. We are really lucky enough we have got a really young squad (to work with), useful Indian squad and they have some skills. For us is it is about harnessing that skill and play at the right time and probably be a little more consistent, that’s all. But having said that, for me it is the experienced guys making the runs as well and the overseas didn’t make any runs until last night. (David) Hussey got a couple of 40s and obviously Adam has struggled a little bit but the experienced guys have to help the younger guys out and make sure they are learning the game along the way. If we do that we will be fine.”

The Kings need to put up more consistent performances to stake a claim for a place in the play offs. And although they have come off a thrilling win in which Mandeep Singh and David Miller put in brilliant performances, the coach said, “It is only one game though. We got to back that up and go at it again and again. Once we start doing that and get some consistency in our game then we will make enough runs and as you have seen with our bowling it is pretty good most of the time so the challenge for us is to keep backing that up.”

And one of the challenges that they will be facing is a rejuvenated DD side with their most dangerous player, Virender Sehwag in good nick. Asked about their strategy for the dangerous opener, Lehmann said, “Can you give us a hint? When he is on he is on. That is the way he plays.

He has been a great player for India and Delhi Daredevils over the years. We have got certain plans but at the end of the day if he is on he can take the game away; it is just as simple as that. It's good to watch from afar, so hopefully it doesn't happen tomorrow night. But it is good to see him, and it is great for the tournament when he plays the way he plays, but for us it is a case of trying to keep him down tomorrow night.”

One of the players that could add to weight to KXIP is Shaun Marsh. However, the batsman is still to be match fit and it will be a few days before one could see him in KXIP colours.

“He won't be available yet. He is available for being here but he has just got off the flight and has come from a surgery. It would be another three or four days probably before he plays. We don’t take any risk with players that are not fit to play at the level we need them to play. In the IPL we cannot do that, it is a full on tournament. When he gets through the full fielding fitness and running between the wicket drills at the speed we need him to get to then he will be available for selection. At the moment he is not allowed.”

While discussing their position on the points table and way forward, he stated, “We have played only six games so far. We have won three and lost three which isn't too bad.”

“We will definitely get in with nine but I would love to get 10 wins that will make it easier. But again there are still ten games to go so we won’t worry about the table at the moment. All we will worry about is to get the way we want to play right and if we do that the rest will look after itself.” 

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