KP absence not only issue, says Simons

Chennai: Despite performing below par in the sixth edition of the Pepsi Indian Premier League, Delhi Daredevils have often earned the sympathy of the critics on the grounds that they lost Kevin Pietersen and Jesse Ryder — to injury — even before the tournament had started.

But a closer look at the situation reveals that while there is doubting the talent in Pietersen, he had played in only eight matches for Delhi last season.

Also, while Delhi weren’t invincible while he was in the team, Delhi did win matches even after he had left midseason, thanks to national commitments.

Another important aspect has been that Ben Rohrer — Ryder’s replacement — has done quite well, scoring 137 runs in six matches at a strike rate 134.31.

In comparison, Ryder had managed to score just 256 runs in 11 matches for Pune last season at a strike rate of 118.

And Delhi coach Eric Simons has confessed that the team can’t keep using the absence of players like Pietersen and Ryder as an excuse after every loss.

“We do know that KP scores runs and is a personality, but then you can’t do much about injuries. And you are right we haven’t performed to our ability. The batting has let us down and the batsmen have taken responsibility."

Simons says it is the repetitive nature of the mistakes committed by Delhi’s top order batsmen that bothers him.

“The frustrating part is that we keep making the same mistakes. We keep talking about our top three needing to play till the 12th over but we keep losing wickets. We haven’t learnt from our mistakes,” Simons said.

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