Lehman hopes Kings XI Punjab batsmen will come good

Hyderabad, April 18 (IANS) Kings XI Punjab coach Darren Lehman hopes his batsmen will come good in Friday’s game here against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The coach said that while the victory against Kolkatta Knight Riders has bolstered the team’s confidence, they need to play well against Sunrisers, who have eight points from five matches.

Punjab has won two out of four games but their batsmen, including captain Adam Gilchrist, have failed to click.

“That’s disappointing from batting group point of view. We started to better in the last game. Obviously in the first game we played really well. Two middle games we didn’t make enough runs,” said Lehman before his team had an intensive practice session under floodlights at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here Thursday.

“As a captain he has done really good job. Keeping has been fantastic. He need to make runs. He knows that. Hopefully he will get some tomorrow.” Lehman was happy to be back in Hyderabad where he served as the coach for Deccan Chargers, the previous IPL franchise. He said he was looking for a good quality game.

Sunrisers, who had a dramatic win against Pune Warriors India last night, was travelling and hence could not have any practice. The hosts won both the games at their home ground.

Lehman said couple of players were injured but did not reveal their names. “We might have a couple of changes for tomorrow’s game.”

The Australian praised the Hyderabad team and said it will be an interesting game.

“There are some good batters. We will have to try and keep those guys quite tomorrow night. They know pretty much how we do. We know how they play. It is going to be really interesting contest. It will be great for fans. They are good side. We have to play well.”

Lehman said the four-run victory against KKR in the last game gave them the confidence.

“They are the champions. To beat the best side is always important. But It is a long tournament. We don’t look too much latter. At the moment it is about the next game. Hyderabad have four wins they are going well. We have to play well to beat them here. Then we go to the next match. We don’t worry too much about the past. We have got a long work to do.”

The Australian said like other franchises, the boys were trying hard. He pointed out that the team would play five games in next 10 days.

He believes the team has a good balance. “The all-rounders play big part in 20-20. They can quickly change the game with both bat and ball. You to have that diversity in your team to cope with anything that comes up. I think we have good balance in our side. We probably need to bat a bit better,” he added.

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