Ray Jennings is used to taking tough decisions so that Royal Challengers Bangalore can play to potential. Convincing Rahul Dravid to bat down the order, making Kevin Pietersen sit out for some matches were few tough calls.
The RCB coach now faces another challenge in boosting his players' morale for one final fling against Deccan Chargers for the third place match on Saturday.
“The guys are very disappointed that they aren't in the (IPL3) final, but that is professional sport,” Jennings said, after a training session at the MCA Recreation Centre, BKC on Friday.
“The important thing is for players to understand that winners are guys who come back after a loss. It is going to be tough for Deccan Chargers as well.
He is surprised at Robin Uthappa's omission from the Indian T20 World Cup squad. “I am very surprised that they left Robin out. He is a really exciting and damaging type of cricketer. Looking at the Indian side, he will be missed.”
On RCB's inability to play to reputation, he said, “games are not won on paper. The important thing in 20-over cricket is a combination of bowling, batting and fielding that work together as units. We can't have a situation where we bowled well, last five overs go for 77 runs and then expect to get a score that is really way above par score.
“It is actually difficult to score runs, no matter what side you have on paper, if it is 20 or 30 runs above par.”
On Mumbai Indians' consistency, Jennings said, “the team members understand their roles. The fielding and the death bowling have been good. Overall the Mumbai side has played better than any other team in the competition. Definitely my money is on them.”
“Sachin Tendulkar obviously is the key guy in their batting line-up. With his finger (injury), I don't know if he is going to play. He is quite a key guy in captaincy as well as the energy on the field. I don't think Mumbai can afford to lose that guy, especially the image that he creates.”
On the wickets he said, “I think the wicket we got against Mumbai was totally different to the one prepared on Thursday night (CSK vs DC semifinal). We obviously would have prepared what we wanted if the semifinal was in Bangalore.”
On Vinay Kumar's future in Indian cricket, Jennings said, “I think he is going to develop with more experience. He really works hard, the hardest working guy here. I am pleased for him because guys like that deserve what they get. I am sure he is going to do well.”