Mumbai, April 28: Pune Warriors coach Geoff Marsh was critical of his batsmen's performance after the team slumped to fourth straight defeat in the Indian Premier League on April 27.
"I'm terribly disappointed with our batting on a good wicket. Our batsmen are not putting up enough total for our bowlers to defend. We were 20-30 runs short on a wicket where 160-170 was the par score," a dejected former Australian opener said after his team's second defeat at the hands of defending champions Chennai Super Kings.
"We are not getting the starts. We have got injuries to some key players but at the end of the day we have enough good players to do well," said Marsh about the injury woes to key opener Graeme Smith and senior pacer Ashish Nehra.
While Smith is with the team after picking up an injury, Nehra is yet to make an appearance after undergoing a surgery on his fractured finger.
The absence of Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews also hurt the team's balance.
Marsh said that the team had lost wickets in a heap in the first six overs in their last three games.
"We lost four wickets in the last three games within the first six overs. It's an area we need to improve on. We have to address that," he conceded.
"We lost a lot of wickets early. With four to six [batsmen] down, the least we can't afford to do is to lose more wickets. You don't want to be bowled out. With a poor start like this, you put a lot of pressure on the middle order," he said.
Marsh still has hopes of making it to the knock-out stages.
"We need to focus on the next game, get back to winning ways and keep the momentum on," he said.
He also defended the move to send Mohnish Mishra to open the batting with Jesse Ryder.
"He's opened in the past and he wants to open," he said.
About Robin Uthappa's tendency to throw away his wicket after getting a quick 30, Marsh said that's the way the burly player bats. "He's that sort of a player. When you are 80 for 2 with the last 10 overs remaining, that's the time he plays really well."
Marsh informed the Aussie glovesman Tim Paine was ready to play but uncertainty is still there regarding Smith's availability.
Marsh also hailed the appointment of Zimbabwean Duncan Fletcher as the successor to Gary Kirsten as the coach of the Indian team for a two-year term.
"He has got a good track record. He coaches very much like Gary (Kirsten) and has done well in the past," said Marsh about Fletcher.