IPL 2014 newsfile May 13, 2014

Where to bat Duminy, wonders Kirsten

ESPNcricinfo staff

Duminy: top-order bat or finisher?
After nine rounds of league matches, Delhi Daredevils sit right at the bottom of the points table, with two wins. They will have to win five games out of five from here on and then hope other results go their way, if they are to make the playoffs. One of their many problems has been the failure of their top order to lay a base from which to kick off. Their best batting contributions have come from JP Duminy and Kedar Jadhav, who've routinely come in at around the No. 6 mark, and have been labelled 'finishers'. Now, with time all but run out for the team, coach Gary Kirsten is mulling whether it is best to play his "best batsman", Duminy, higher up.

"As a coach you always sit on that - do you get your best batsman to face the most number of balls or do you use him to finish?" Kirsten said on the eve of Daredevils' game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. "MS Dhoni never bats higher up the order because he is such a good finisher. RCB generally keep AB de Villiers back to finish. We sit with the same problem when it comes to Duminy - whether we keep him for the last five-six overs, where he has been devastating, or do we use him earlier to play a slightly different role. We've been caught in between."

RCB facing 'crisis of confidence', says former coach
Royal Challengers Bangalore are just slightly better off than Daredevils, with three wins from nine games. Their primary problem, according former coach Ray Jennings, has been a lack of confidence. "There doesn't seem to be confidence within the RCB team. It seems a crisis of confidence," Jennings, who coached Royal Challengers for five IPL seasons - 2009 to 2013 - told Deccan Herald. "They haven't played well as a group. It doesn't look good at the moment.

"Virat looks like he has quite a lot of things on his plate, right now, and among the players, there seems to be a lack of confidence in their skills. I think they need to work on the confidence levels."

Jennings was replaced as coach by Daniel Vettori, who is still actively playing, this season. While Vettori's cricketing knowledge cannot be questioned, he still has to learn the ropes of coaching, Jennings said. "I think Dan still has the expectations to play. When I worked with Dan, he was the captain and did the captaincy responsibilities. He didn't get involved in anything more. As a coach, you have to get involved with so many things, making sure everyone is happy. You even work with the fans. From the knowledge point of view, Dan has lot of knowledge but it will take some time to get used to."

Watson growing in Dravid's presence
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals' batsman Ajinkya Rahane had praised his new captain, Shane Watson, for being "very calm", just like his old boss, Rahul Dravid. Watson in turn has said having Dravid around, as team mentor, has helped him develop as a cricketer. "To have Rahul as a mentor is unbelievable," Watson said. "My development is certainly continuing to evolve very quickly because of having him there. For me personally, I am extremely lucky to have him around."

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  • Faisal on May 13, 2014, 16:35 GMT

    Gary Kirsten is far too conservative to become a good T20 or 50 overs coach but he is a good Test coach. He implemented the same mind set within SA Team and always played "cautious" cricket hence the fact he keeps Duminy for No6. Miller will never ever bat at No4 for SA due to this negative mindset. Kings Punjab have proved all these negative coaches completely wrong by Having Maxwell at No3 and Miller at No4.

    One can no understand why South Africa have not performed well at ICC tournaments - they have taken analyzing to another level. AB does not bat at No3 for SA because of this mindset.You have to the players the free reign to express themselves.

    For Delhi to progress they will have to start taking chances and throw caution out of the window and play Pietersen at No3 and Duminy at No4. This is T20 and NOT Test cricket.

  • David on May 13, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    @ Cricketfan11111 is right! "If the captain contributes half the problems solved. Ask KKR."

    Dhawan's form is under a rock: 1, 7, 6, 4, 11, & three 30s - ave 18.88. His reputation is for mustache twirling arrogance. Sunrisers games are snatched away from them. Coincidence?

    Kohli can't buy a run: 3 ducks, two 4s, & 49* vs Delhi - ave 18. His reputation is for arrogance & anger. RCB snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory almost every game! Coincidence?

    KP scored 0, 6, 14, 16, 24*, 35, ave 19.4. He has a worldwide reputation for arrogance! Delhi are at the bottom of the table. Coincidence?

    MSD: 1 bad score, mostly 20s - 70% not out. He is liked, respected, trusted. CSK are on top. Coincidence?

    Bailey: 1 bad score, 6 in the teens - 4 not out. A MOM knock. He is liked, respected, trusted. Kings XI are 2nd. Coincidence?

    A Captain's bad batting hurts: when combined with a bad attitude, team confidence & performance is destroyed, particularly under pressure. The results show that!

  • Ashok on May 13, 2014, 15:14 GMT

    Duminy is the most consistent batsman for DD. He has been sent so late that his utility to the team has not been exploited. In my opinion, Duminy should bat @#4. At this spot he can be both a sheet anchor & score his runs at a brisk pace. Vijay as a regular opener should not be dropped + de Kock his partner. KP needs to bat #3. Karthick &Jadhav is good at #5 & #6.So these 6 can take the initiative between them to put up a good total. In bowling parnell & Shami are the 2 pace bowlers with unadkat - 3rd seamer. Nadeem is the steady & economical wkt. taker with Duminy the supporting spinner. The XIth player is floating one. If you have a constant team you learn to play together. DD have been rotating the XI + batting order + bowlers so much that this team never plays as a team. In T20 team work & jobs of respective guys at specific positions are crucial. KP has not used Duminy properly either in bowling or in batting. The results are clear indication of poor & disjointed Team!

  • Garreth on May 13, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    I think it's KPs captaincy. They aren't losing by much in most games and that, particularly in the shorter versions of the games, falls on the captain. You've got to scrap for everything and be tactically astute. Not sure KP is.

  • David on May 13, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    NO WAY! It took Kirtsen this long to realize that JP is DD's top batsman? REALLY? That was clear after game 1. JP is a BATSMAN, not a slogger. He finishes brilliantly AFTER TIME AT THE CREASE. Check the stats!!

    Kirsten destroyed SA's ODI/T20 teams. SA's ODI Win/Loss ratio sat ABOVE 2 before Smith retired as skipper & Kirsten started as coach. Under Kirsten & AB - a rookie skipper - it was halved!. After 3 matches, Kallis the legend was "rested." He never came back. Smart move, Gary!

    AB was a clueless skipper, & Kirsten's "floating batting order" failed horribly. After he left, the batting settled, AB grew as a captain, & the team is back.

    Under Kirsten, India's success relied on Dhoni's captaincy, & SA's test success on Smith's. Kirsten NEVER captained, & NEEDS an experienced skipper to lead the team. KP's total captaincy was 2 months for Eng before he was fired! DD now have Kirsten, KP, & the floating batting order. That is team death!

    I'm a Saffa. I have zero faith in Kirsten!

  • Francois on May 13, 2014, 9:37 GMT

    Sorry Gags I don't think NZ are that high up in the pecking order where cricket is concern.

  • Dummy4 on May 13, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    JP is in sublime form at the moment so it is necessary to use his form in proper way, the way KXIP are using Maxwell and Miller. JP can play anchoring innings (full of classic shots, singles) and also devastating knock by destroying the bowler rhythm by hitting six and four, when required. So,DD management need to move him up the order and try Kedar Jadhav as a finisher. If Duminy stays at the crease for some time, he may be even more devastating at later part of the innings.

  • vas on May 13, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Kirsten's biggest problem is KP not firing. So many franchises fought for KP and DD used RTM card to buy KP for vast sums of money. If KP was his usual devastating form DD would've been sitting pretty now. Duminy is in form of his life. Vijay, De Kock and Karthik are contributing well. Bowlers are doing ok. It is the KP factor which is missing. If the captain contributes half the problems solved. Ask KKR.

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