Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders coach Trevor Bayliss on Sunday hit out at his batsmen and said their poor form was letting the team down in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League.
Defending champions Kolkata lost by four wickets against Chennai Super Kings in a low-scoring affair at the Eden Gardens here to slump to their fourth defeat in the tournament out of six games.
"It was not a great performance from the batting unit. It's been the same problem in almost every game. Our bowling and fielding have been similar to last year, but certainly our batting is letting us down," Bayliss said at the post-match press conference.
Bayliss said KKR batsmen played "school boy" cricket as two run outs led to a disaster with the hosts slipping to 119 for nine from 46 for no loss.
"Those were some school boy errors, as simple as that. Obviously it (the run outs) put a lot of pressure on rest of the guys. It just snowballs and gets worse," he said.
Kolkata are now in danger of defending their title as they slipped to the seventh spot in the points table as the coach urged his batsmen to buck up.
"We will have to try and mirror image the character we showed in the bowling and fielding departments. We got to try and transfer that to our batting. We obviously got confidence with our fielding and bowling," Bayliss said.
"The difference between this year and last year was that we put a lot of runs at the top that took the pressure off the middle-order. The guys in the middle-order have not got opportunities as yet," he said.
Bayliss said the team would now have to win more than 50 per cent of their remaining fixtures to make the play-offs.
"Of course it gets tougher the more games you lose. We still have got plenty of games left. We probably have to win a little more than 50 per cent to go through. With this team, we're more than capable of winning on the trot," Bayliss said.
Chasing a paltry 120, the Super Kings stuttered at one stage before Ravindra Jadeja pulled it off with a 14-ball unbeaten 36. Bayliss lamented that Kolkata lacked experience in their middle-order.
"We have not got the experience down the order as Chennai have got. Our guys have to keep improving to play teams like CSK."
Bayliss said another 20 runs would have given them the edge. "Early on, we're looking at 140. If we could have batted sensibly and not threw it away we could have probably made 160. Another 20 runs would have been handy," he said.
Debabrata Das kept wickets in place of Manvinder Bisla while Yusuf Pathan was promoted to open the innings and Bayliss said it was a move to bring the best out of the struggling Baroda all-rounder.
"I thought he did a decent job. We tried to get the best out of Yusuf. We know the kind of explosive player he is when he gets going. We were trying to put him in a position from where he could get that confidence back. He showed glimpses of it. We're hoping that he can do it over a longer period."