IPL 2014 May 10, 2014

RCB 'not playing too well as a team' - Morkel

ESPNcricinfo staff

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RCB just need to turn on the switch - Albie Morkel

Albie Morkel, the Royal Challengers Bangalore allrounder, has said RCB were "not playing too well as a team yet," and put their struggles in IPL 2014 down to top-order wobbles and the bowlers conceding too many extras.

Royal Challengers' 32-run defeat at home to Kings XI Punjab on May 9 was their fifth loss in six games, after they had begun the season with two wins. They are presently sixth in the points table.

"It just hasn't clicked; I don't know why," Morkel told iplt20.com when asked about RCB's batting. "In five out of the seven games we have played, we have lost too many wickets up front. We are not playing too well as a team yet. There are six more games left and we have to win all of them to have a chance at the playoffs."

Before the season began, Royal Challengers were touted to have the most destructive line-up, with Yuvraj Singh and Morkel adding to the existing firepower of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. However, only de Villiers averages more than 23, and before scoring two half-centuries in his last three innings, he too was having an indifferent season. Gayle averages 22 in four innings, striking at 156, and Yuvraj and Kohli average 20 in eight each, striking at 102 and 113 respectively.

The upshot of RCB's poor top-order form is that Morkel, who is batting higher up the order than he did at his previous team Chennai Super Kings, has had to come into match situations where a rescue act is needed, and not the powerful cameos he is known for. Morkel hasn't found his groove either, making only 44 runs in four innings.

"What has changed here is that I bat a bit higher - at No.6 or 7 - whereas at CSK, I came in at No.8," Morkel said when asked about the difference in his roles at Super Kings and Royal Challengers. "So, there's more chance for me with the bat here. However, since we haven't fired as a batting unit yet, it makes the drill quite difficult for someone coming in later in the order.

"I am not talking about me in particular, but anyone coming in at that position. When the number in the wickets column is low, it is nice to come in with the platform already set and then to build on it. Having said that, I have always wanted a bigger batting role, which I have been getting here, and from a personal point of view, I am very disappointed that I haven't made it count with big scores. But I am not beating myself up yet."

Royal Challengers' bowling was considered their weak suit but in the early stages of the tournament the attack acquitted itself well. However, in their last two games against Mumbai Indians and Kings XI, RCB conceded 40 runs in extras - 26 of those in wides and no-balls.

"Yes, we did bowl too many leg-side wides, and honestly, they weren't the result of us trying to do something," Morkel said after the loss against Kings XI. "It was just the lack of discipline. From the bowling unit's perspective, we did so well in the first five matches, but in the last two, we've given away far too many extras. Against MI, we gave away 25 extras, which is way too many if you want to win T20 games. We will try and correct that in the coming matches; we will have to."

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  • Android on May 11, 2014, 7:18 GMT

    bcoz of kohli rcb bought UV. now suffering a lot. for 14crore dey could have bought maxi Smith uthappa . for albie they could have bought duminy. very sad. don't support rcb. except abd no one is playing well.

  • Dummy4 on May 10, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    Yuvi's terrible form and Virat's batting misfire costs RCB well. Mallaya should think during auction that Yuvi never had a good IPL record, so why he selected with this high price. May be Virat should relieved from Captaincy which might giving too much pressure to fail in batting. ABD would be the right choice for captain who can handle pressure situations (His international speaks) who is also a cool head like Dhoni.

  • Android on May 10, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    RCB is missing Rey Jennings as mentor..Send Allan Donald(bowling coach) out & bring back Ray Jennings

  • Cricket on May 10, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    Kohli has never been a "great" IPL player. He does well, but the IPL seems to be his downtime from Indian cricket. Gayle was unfortunately injured and is still getting back into his groove but at the time of the auction, he wasn't doing so well either. Keeping these things in mind, Mallya went ahead and strengthened the batting with...Yuvi. A Yuvraj who himself is going through the struggle of his life. Because he did that, he could not even buy decent backups. I said it then and i'll say it again, Mallya banked so hard on Yuvi and now that he is not delivering, RCB is floundering. Its not Yuvi's fault, its Mallya's. His auction strategy was non-existent. He wanted Yuvraj and it ended their. After that he was just trying to fill up the squad. Luckily he picked up Chahal and Aaron who are in good form but that was not due to calculated thinking and careful strategy. That was because of pure luck.

  • Android on May 10, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    this is what happens in IPL... hyper inflation of prices always is a bad investment... mallya purchased him keeping in mind cricket and the business aspect of having a player like yuvaraj... now let him suffer... this has only put further pressure on an out of sorts yuvaraj

  • Dummy4 on May 10, 2014, 9:49 GMT

    Yuvi is a failed investment. Keep him out of the team for at least two games and give someone else the chance probably Vijay Zoel or somebody.

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