Needed, ruthlessness: Jennings

Needed, ruthlessness: Jennings

Think-tank: Royal Challengers coach Ray Jennings (left) and skipper Anil Kumble in deep discussion on the eve of their showdown against Mumbai Indians. DH photo

“We haven't been ruthless at the right times to finish games off. In the game against Rajasthan Royals, we stood up and were counted. Hopefully, in the last three games, we can do the same,” said Jennings on Friday ahead of Saturday’s clash with Mumbai Indians here.

With just a game left for the semifinals, Jennings said it was important to sustain the momemtum. “It is important to make sure we keep the flow and understand the roles in the side. And also to understand any injuries or niggles as well as rest or allow some of the players to recuperate.

“It has been a tough period. We started (the league stage) on March 14 and are finishing on April 17. Mumbai started on March 12 and are finishing on April 19. They had five days longer to play the 14 games than we have,” he pointed out. While Jennings downplayed Manish Pandey’s lean patch, he was all praise for Robin Uthappa, who has been in great form. “I think the senior management wasn't happy with Robin's performance,” he said, referring to right-hander’s show in the inaugural Champions League last year.

“But he is a classy cricketer. With the way he plays, he was always going to be a blaster and a game-breaker. I am of the opinion that you have to look at a player over a period of two or three years.

“It is just a matter of me getting him right as a good cricketer. His wicket-keeping has been of very high calibre. I would be surprised if, as a wicketkeeper-batsman, he doesn't offer the T20 competition as much as anybody else in the world,” he elaborated.
Kevin Pietersen made a telling impact on his return against Rajasthan Royals. “You could say that,” he said when asked if it was a mistake to keep the England batsman out. “Keeping him on the bench probably annoyed him. He has probably gone out and played an innings of his life-time, putting his finger up my nose and telling me in a nice way that I should have picked him.

“Sometimes, you make decisions and you get reactions from players. The reaction I got is Pietersen is a world-class cricketer and I should not sit him out. That is a good reaction for our side,” he explained.

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