Anil Kumble, the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, has said Jacques Kallis' slow batting was one of the factors that led to his team's 13-run defeat against Deccan Chargers in Nagpur.
"He [Kallis] has won us a couple of games earlier but today he got stuck," Kumble said after the game. "He should have gone after the bowling in the first six overs but it did not happen today. He should have made a move-on which did not happen today and that put pressure on the guys coming in. You can't expect someone like Robin [Uthappa] to see you through [every time]."
Chasing a target of 152 on a pitch that was getting slower, it was imperative for Bangalore to make a good start. However, Manish Pandey fall first ball and Kallis crawled to a 37-ball 27 that put pressure on the rest.
Kallis struggled for timing even as Rahul Dravid raised the momentum with a classy 49. However Dravid fell, holing out to long off, and left Bangalore needing 78 from 58 balls. When asked if he thought Dravid could have been more careful with his shot selection, Kumble supported his team-mate.
"If he [Dravid] plays normally, then people will say he is mild and he is not aggressive," Kumble said. "Today he was the one who gave us initiative in the first six overs after losing a wicket in the first ball. Unfortunately he got out at the wrong time. But there were many more overs and a lot of good batsmen to come, so it's disappointing that we didn't the result we wanted."
Kallis was dismissed going for a big shot that was caught at long on. Ross Taylor was bowled by a full delivery from RP Singh before both Virat Kohli and Cameron White fell to faulty shot selections. Kohli lofted to long-on in Pragyan Ojha's final over and White slogged RP there as well, leaving Uthappa with too much to do.
"I think it was just a matter of pressure building," Kumble said. "They [batsmen] possibly could have selected better strokes but I thought this was the game in our hand, we just let things go away. We were on course till the ninth or tenth over and losing from that stage is really disappointing."
Kumble's counterpart, Adam Gilchrist, said he knew 151 was a defendable total. "We experienced a couple of awkward chases in the previous two games. We never felt like, "Wow small total, we are going to cruise here". It's a difficult wicket to play the big shots. I wasn't disappointed to bat first. It was the third time the pitch was used and it was always going to be difficult."
Gilchrist praised the efforts of Ojha and Harmeet Singh and said the large boundaries also played a part. "It felt good to play with a full-size boundary. It adds another dimension to Twenty20 cricket. I would encourage all of them to have full-size boundaries wherever possible."
Kumble agreed with Gilchrist's view. "Yes, it [ground size] does matter. But when you have to get 8 or 9 nine runs in an over, you need to play proper cricketing shots to clear the boundary. You can't say that if this match happened in Bangalore then the ball would have gone for a six instead of getting caught on the boundary line."
Gilchrist is the only Deccan batsman who hasn't contributed significantly and he cited his form as one of the areas of improvement. "There is no denying that. I haven't thought about demoting myself lower in the order," he said. "I got a pretty good first ball. I will keep working hard. I have faith that I will contribute to the team at some stage. I have played enough cricket to learn not to worry about my form."
Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo