The Bangalore IPL team should have been sitting pretty at the top half of the table with three victories from four matches.
“We should be winning such games,” Dravid said after Monday's loss to Chennai. In fact, the story was the same in the other home match against Jaipur. On a pitch where the ball was coming on nicely, Bangalore flopped.
After the first defeat to Kolkata, Dravid said there was a lot of cricket to be played and hoped the team would get stronger. The captain's words remained unchanged after the ensuing matches. “There is still a lot of cricket to be played and hopefully we will get our act together,” Dravid said on Monday night.
Bangalore have 10 more games in the league and need to urgently implement what Dravid has been repeatedly stressing — getting the right combination and act together. Otherwise, the prospect of an early exit looms large.
“Every match is important and we have to minimise our mistakes,” said Dravid.
Chief cricket officer Martin Crowe said his team had taken longer to adjust to this format than other teams. “We have been leaking 15-20 runs on the field but we are working hard to correct it.”
Dravid got the combination right on Monday but his trump card, Dale Steyn, who had given away 16 runs in three overs, went for 24 in his final over and that proved crucial in the end.
There were fitness worries too for the team. B Akhil had missed Saturday's match against Jaipur due to a strained groin. But the medium pacer has recovered since then.
“He is fine and passed the fitness test on Monday morning,” said a team source. Akhil filled in the fifth bowler's slot as Dravid packed his side with medium pacers against MS Dhoni's men. Dravid however, did not agree with the suggestions that the average age of his side had anything to do with the results so far.
“It's not like that (the fact that we have only older players), we too have youngsters in the side. I think we are a good and balanced side with adequate experience. It's only that we have to combine well and play as a unit to win the games,” he said.