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Need to be more proactive, insists Vettori

Wisden India logo Wisden India 17/04/2017 Wisden India staff

© Provided by Wisden Royal Challengers Bangalore slumped from a lowly sixth spot to the foot of the points table after losing to Rising Pune Supergiant by 27 runs in Bangalore on Sunday (April 16).

In chase of 162 for victory, Bangalore was left stranded at 134 for 9; the third time in five completed innings that they have failed to go past the 150-run mark. Daniel Vettori, the coach, admitted his batsmen had struggled to readjust to the slower Bangalore surface, calling on them to be "more proactive".

"Probably a case of dealing with a kind of wicket that we haven't played on before," he said. "It's obviously slightly slower. We are used to wickets that make it a lot easier for batsmen to hit the ball for six, hit the ball for four to catch up with a few dot balls."

With Chris Gayle, the West Indian big-hitter, struggling for form, Bangalore have been forced to drop him twice. In the game against Pune, he was left out as Shane Watson returned to the XI.

'We're constantly searching for the right balance' © DINUKA LIYANAWATTE/Reuters 'We're constantly searching for the right balance' "We're constantly searching for the right balance," Vettori argued. "In the Mumbai game, we were down a bowler. Shane has been such a successful allrounder in T20 cricket for a long period of time. So we made the decision to back Shane because of his all-round contribution."

Watson made a crucial breakthrough by dismissing Mahendra Singh Dhoni for a 25-ball 28, which kick-started a middle-order collapse as Pune went from 127 for 2 to 130 for 7. But Watson handed the momentum back to the visitors in the 19th over, feeding Manoj Tiwary with full-length balls, conceding three boundaries and a six.

"Yes (Watson erred by pitching it up)," Vettori conceded. "We set the example for ourselves in the first 18 overs by bowling back of a length. We took four wickets for seven runs by bowling to the stumps. And then we went away from that plan and the last two overs cost us, I think, 30 (29) runs."

While the change in the nature of the Bangalore surface from an absolute belter to a sluggish strip might be frowned upon by some, Vettori defended the pitch.

"I think so (it's not as batting-friendly), but that doesn't mean it's not a good T20 wicket. It's been exciting for the bowlers. All three games have been pretty entertaining and I think we have showed that we can compete on this wicket. It is different, we just need to adapt like we did in the Delhi game (where Bangalore won by 15 runs after scoring 157 for 8)."

Bangalore next face Gujarat Lions in an away game on Tuesday (April 18). Last year's runner-ups will be desperate to turn fortunes around and lift themselves from the foot of the table.

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