New Delhi: May 14, 2012
Deccan Chargers are already out of contention for a play-off berth in the Indian Premier League with just two wins so far but their coach Darren Lehmann on Monday defended his players, saying that there was no lack of work ethics from them.
"The boys tried hard for to win matches. We lost some close matches. There is no lack of work ethics and I am happy with their commitment to the team," Lehmann said.
"We did not excel at the right time and did not grab opportunities. We need to get the basics right. In the high pressure of IPL, you need to execute plans in a lot better way," he said at the sidelines of a coaching clinic for youngsters organised by Prayas, an NGO dedicated for the welfare of underprivileged children.
With two games left in the tournament and having just five points from 14 games, the Chargers are no more in contention for a play-off spot.
Lehmann also described skipper and Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara as an "absolute champion".
"Sangakkara is an absolute champion. As a captain, he has done a great job behind the scenes. He would like to see some more runs on the board...we know that. He is a very special man who looks after all his players. I am sure he will turn it around for the team in the near future. We have no problems with him at all," said Lehmann.
The former Australian batsman also reposed faith in his bowlers, saying they will learn from mistakes and start performing under pressure.
"The younger guys are learning and that's a good thing.
The more experience they get, the better they become in a pressure situation. As long as they learn from it, that's a more important thing to me as a coach. As long as these guys learn from their mistakes and become better players, I think you will see that improvement over a certain period of time," he said.
Chargers' middle-order batsman and a part-time bowling option J P Duminy hoped that the team would put up a better show in the next edition of IPL.
"We witnessed some close games this season. We lost some close 4-5 matches and on another day, we won a few. Hopefully, next time we would be on the winning side," he said.
"I don't think that we possess any lack of commitment.
Look, in such kind of tournament, you need to depend a bit on luck also," the South African added.
Emirates, the team sponsor of Deccan Chargers, on Monday provided an experience of a lifetime to a group of children from NGO Prayas, who came face to face with DC players Duminy, Daniel Harris and Ashish Reddy.
The budding cricketers learnt new skills as the cricketers gave them tips and guidance on how to excel in the sport. The youngsters had a chance to bowl and bat against the players at the Jesus and Mary College grounds. (PTI)