Jaipur: Pune Warriors chief coach Allan Donald feels that the volume of cricket being played nowadays is "absolutely outrageous" which, in turn, reduces the time span of a cricketer. "Look at the volume of cricket that is being play these days, it's absolutely outrageous. We simply know from the South African point of view that we can't afford to play Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in all three formats of the game. I think we have seen youngsters who are flying through the ranks," Donald said.
"What it does is it fast tracks a lot of good young bowlers or batsmen very quickly into the game. It's just that the skill level doesn't stands still for no one. You need to adapt very quickly. At the moment, we have Chris Morris, who has just come onto the scene. He is doing exceptionally well for Chennai. Before a Test series ends, you start thinking of T20s and ODIs. So, it's tough for a cricketer but at the same time, you need to adapt quickly," he added. Donald, who is in the city for Pune Warriors' must-win match against Rajasthan Royals in the IPL here tomorrow, cited some atrocious decision-making under pressure situation for their poor run in the tournament.
Warriors are currently placed at the bottom of the points table with just two wins from 11 matches they have played so far. "We know we are under pressure; we need to won all five games. We played some extra-ordinary cricket in the competition but at the same time, our decision-making under pressure hasn't been all that good. It was not up to the mark. We need to show tomorrow what a quality outfit we are," he said.
Donald said he is not reading too much into Rajasthan Royals' impeccable 'home' record. "We are in a position where we have got five games left in the tournament and we are here to play for pride. We certainly cannot worry about whether we are at home or away. We cannot worry about what records other teams have at home. We got to make significant play tomorrow," he said.
Although Yuvraj Singh didn't train on Saturday, Donald said that he will be available for Sunday. The 46-year-old, who can still give a lot of youngsters run for their money with his age-defying looks, said he has always remained a great fan of the IPL and termed it as a wonderful concept. "It's a wonderful concept. I have great admiration for how skill level of players has improved over the last six editions. What the IPL has done, what the T20 cricket has done for Test cricket, it's something quite extra-ordinary.
"I think that's what you see, you see fantastic Test matches; run-rates have gone through the roof. It's fantastic for Test cricket. It's good for the format and that's why Test cricket these days are so exciting to watch," he said. Proteas' bowling coach Donald said overall skill like death bowling and being smart under pressure has really improved due to Twenty20 cricket. "I think, T20 bowling has improved, I really do, gone are the days where you sit in a team meeting and go through the motions. Bowling under death overs and being smart under pressure has really improved," he said.
He cited the example of India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kmar, who, in his view, has evolved as a better cricketer from the last year. "I have got a great admiration for Bhuvi. I think from last year where he was making his mark in the Pune Warriors to where he is now. He has got tremendous skill as a bowler. He is an asset to us," he said.
Watching his bowlers clobbered all around the park by the rival batsmen during death overs, does it hurts him? "That's the painstaking part of being a coach. You can do all the talking and strategies and you can prepare the players for as best as possible. But while playing, they make their own call. I am at peace with that.
"I just mumble to myself once or twice but that's the frustration of being a coach. The skill of handling that and referring it back to the player in a very nice manner is the art of coaching. That's what I am finding out at the moment," he signed off.