Seniors have to stand up for Daredevils: Johan Botha

New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) Delhi Daredevils all-rounder Johan Botha feels it is time for the seniors to stand up and take responsibility to help the team end its six-match losing streak in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Botha remained hopeful the Daredevils can taste their first win in the season against Mumbai Indians here Sunday.

He said that six consecutive losses hurt and they focussed on the game against Mumbai Indians to end the losing streak.

“Yes, it hurts. None of us, when we got here wanted this situation, but out of these situations, there are great opportunities for the guys to put a stop to this slide. We are just taking it one game at a time. We can’t look and say that we want to win eight or nine out of ten games or whatever it is to get into the play offs. For now, from this situation we just concentrate and focus on one game which, for now is against Mumbai Indians,” he said.

Botha said Mumbai Indians are a strong side and hoped one of his team mates will come out with a match winning performance.

“We respect them (Mumbai Indians) and we know they are a really good team. But we hope that in our squad someone will have put up their hand and put a really good performance, a big match performance and pull the other guys with him and that’s what we need. We need one or two guys to step up and the other guys will follow,” he said.

The South African said his team mates can look back and take some inspiration from last year’s performance when Morne Morkel and Kevin Pietersen came up with good performances.

“A good example is, last year, Morne (Morkel) bowled very well and Kevin Pietersen batted really well so hopefully there are a couple of guys in our team who can just start it. We just have to start it and get going and take it from there. I am sure then the guys who are left can still contribute with some wins in the tournament,” he said.

Asked if the absence of Pietersen, who is recovering from a knee injury, has hurt Daredevils badly, Botha said: “I wouldn’t just point it at one man, we still have some really good players, international and Indian, who haven’t just fired yet. KP was the one who put the foot down and took the team forward and others followed him and that’s what we are looking for now. Kevin is one of the best players in the world at the moment and you are not going to replace him, he is too good for that. We are all going to miss him but it is a great opportunity for someone else to step up.”

Botha said it was time for the overseas senior players to guide their young Indian team mates.

“Within the group we have spoken that it is a great opportunity for someone else to take. We have got some really good young Indian players and that is to actually throw them into the deep end and hopefully one or two senior overseas players who can step up and help these young Indian guys put their hand up,” he said.

Botha admitted that the team has failed badly in tight situations and hoped when they come across the next game changing moment they should come through successfully.

“The thing that stands out is the tight situations and the game changing moments we haven’t taken yet in the first six games. Hopefully when that comes again, we can take that go from there; take the opportunity,” Botha said.

Botha once again stressed the importance of one of the top-four batsman getting a big score.

“You want one of your top four to come good. Every team needs that, and lots of teams would like to have that go their way. Watching the games over the last few days, I think all teams are really struggling to put it down. In the past few IPLs there were really high scores and this year that hasn’t happened yet,” he said.

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