Daredevils coach Shipperd slams Kotla pitch

Daredevils coach Shipperd slams Kotla pitch

"The Delhi pitch is becoming tired and worn and there's also variable bounce. The moment our batsmen started batting on these excellent practice wickets here we could see them getting into their rhythm," said Shipperd ahead of his team's crucial IPL clash with league leaders Mumbai Indians on Tuesday.

Incidentally, the Kotla wicket has also been criticised by Daredevils' captain Gautam Gambhir and Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Anil Kumble.But Shipperd also blamed the batting failure in the last two matches for his team's predicament -- needing to win their last two games to enter the semifinal.

"Having said so we also won three games on the trot at Delhi. We bat strong and batting is our main strength. But we did not bat well. Hopefully we will get it right tomorrow," he said.

The 53-year-old Australian was referring to his team's back-to-back defeats against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens by 14 runs and last night's comprehensive seven-wicket loss to bottom-placed Kings XI Punjab at the Kotla.These two defeats followed successive wins at home against KKR, Rajasthan Royals and Bangalore that pushed them up the points ladder.Shipperd did not expect Mumbai Indians to relax after having booked their spot in the semifinal with three matches in hand and expected the Sachin Tendulkar-led hosts to come out at full steam.

"They have reached the semis but would not like to lose the momentum by taking the foot off the pedal," he said.The former Australian first class cricketer did not agree with the suggestion that MI were a one-man army, dependent solely on the batting prowess of Tendulkar.

"They have others in Dwayne Bravo, (Kieron) Pollard and (JP) Duminy. We can't take any one for granted," he said.Shipperd said run-outs should not be allowed to derail a team's progress in T20 games.

"The wicket has nothing to do with run-outs. We have had a few of them. The seniors should be more careful in running between the wickets. T20 does not respect run outs," he stated.

Delhi captain Gambhir and swashbuckling opener David Warner were run out in Sunday's clash with Punjab and the innings went into tail spin there on.Shipperd said while Dirk Nannes was yet to fully recover from his finger injury and would not be available tomorrow, Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was indisposed, was available.
"Dirk Nannes would be available for the Chennai game. Dilshan is fit and we are looking forward to having him back," the Daredevils coach sai