Yusuf Pathan may be going through a lean phase in his career, but Kolkata Knight Riders coach Trevor Bayliss has no doubt about big-hitting all-rounder’s ability and said he is a match-winner.
“Having watched him at the nets, I think he’s striking the ball better than last year. He looks more confident than last year,” said Bayliss on the eve of Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings IPL match here.
“He is a match-winner when he comes off, there’s no doubt about it. I’m trying to work with Yusuf to find what’s the best way to go for him and score runs.”
The Aussie coach also hinted at using Yusuf at a different position.
“We might use him in a little bit different fashion in our next game or two. We just have to wait and see,” he said.
Bayliss though admitted that the KKR think-tank was mulling over playing Brendon McCullum against CSK tomorrow, he was non-committal.
“There’s certainly a chance which is going through my mind. That is a possibility, it’s 50-50. We will wait and see.
We will have a final check tomorrow before the game,” the coach said.
He said that his boys became complacent and let it loose after Sunil Narine’s hat-trick in the last game against Kings XI Punjab that KKR lost by four runs.
“Narine’s hat-trick the other night almost came at the wrong time. They were 109 for seven and consciously our guys might have thought the game was over and would be chasing about 120 or so, and they switched off. I would like to see that stop happening again,” he insisted.
Bayliss said his team was deeply hurt by the way they lost to KXIP in a match Narine took a hat-trick.
“It’s not a secret that we’re playing the way we would have liked to. The guys in the dressing room were hurt by the way they lost,” said Bayliss.
“In a way, it’s good to see the hurt on their faces. To a certain degree, they were embarrassed at the way they let one slip there. I don’t think there’s any lack in effort. As long as you are giving in 100 per cent, you can’t ask for more.”
“The guys can all bat. In 20 overs game, sometimes players don’t get opportunity to spend time in the middle.
It’s just a confidence thing. Once they start hitting the ball in the middle, I’m sure the form will come,” he added.
Bayliss said KKR would concentrate on what they do best.
“We will concentrate on what we do well. One of our strengths is the spin bowling. To be honest, it’s not the bowling that has been our downfall. It’s our batting which is a bit of problem.
“There’s still a long way to go in the competition. We had started reasonably slow last year as well. It’s important to play the best cricket at the end.”