Mon, 07 May 2012 09:28:57 GMT

Our focus is to stay on top, says Delhi's Jayawardena

New Delhi: Delhi Daredevils vice captain Mahela Jayawardena said on Sunday that they were not taking anything for granted and their aim was to maintain their top spot in the Indian Premier League table at the end of the group stages.


Our focus is to stay on top, says Delhi's Jayawardena

The former Sri Lankan captain rubbished claims that complacency could be a factor for the team's downfall, saying they were trying to improve with each game.

"Everyone is trying to improve their game everyday so there won't be any complacency," Jayawardena told reporters here at the Feroz Shah Kotla on the eve of his team's match against second-placed Kolkata Knight Riders.

"We want to be at the top when the group stage finishes and we are going to put pressure on ourselves to accomplish that."

Talking about his own form, Jayawardena said he would like to spend more time at the crease and capitalise on the starts he has had.

He also said, with Australian David Warner coming in, the batting order has not yet been decided.

"I would like to spend more time in the middle, when I came in I batted at four then started opening. I had a few good starts but did not convert them. Its been a bit of up and down time for me but I feel comfortable as I am striking the ball well."

The Sri Lankan veteran said Daredevils had the leeway to be felixible with their battind order.

"I don't know where I am going to bat. We will keep Kolkata guessing for the night. With the players that we have we can be very flexible, we have used Irfan (Pathan) and Yogesh (Nagar) in different positions. With David (Warner) coming in things will be a bit different. Kevin (Pietersen) had a great season and we just need to continue doing all the right things."

Mahela praised Englishman Kevin Pietersen, who has left for England for national duty, for his performance and influence on the team and hoped Warner would be able to do the same.

"You can never replace a certain player, Kevin has got unique strength about him and David has got different strengths about him. We have all seen in the previous editions what he can do with the bat so it is never going to be a direct replacement. With another player coming in, we'll have to change how we are playing as a team to suit that combination."

Jayawardene spoke highly of Kolkata Knight Riders' captain Gautam Gambhir and spinner Sunil Narine.

"They have got a really good setup with the overall side, everyone compliments each other. Gauti (Gambhir) is doing a great job upfront and that has been their strength. Their top order is scoring runs and the middle haven't been able to get that much of batting in so we cannot be complacent. We will try to execute our plans, we don't worry too much about the opposition."

On Narine, he said: "Any bowler who will come with a different variety will have a honeymoon period and once everyone analyses him and get to play him more often then the batsman will adjust. He is a great character and he has brought something new to the IPL."

Source: IANS

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