Michael Klinger is fully aware that the Paarl Rocks cannot afford any more slip-ups in the Mzansi Super League. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Michael Klinger has played enough cricket all around the world to know that two defeats is no reason to panic.

Equally though, the Australian international is fully aware that Paarl Rocks cannot afford any more slip-ups in the Mzansi Super League.

After falling short by just one run in a thriller with the Tshwane Spartans last Sunday, the Boland Park franchise were simply second-best in all departments on Tuesday night when the Jozi Stars got their campaign up and running.

“Obviously when you come into a tournament, you want to start well, so we just had a chat now and we understand the things we are not doing well, but we also need to stay positive,” Klinger said after the 60-run defeat to the Stars.

“You have to bring your A game when it counts, and as a whole, we haven’t done that.

“There are eight games to go, so there is no reason why we can’t do that going forward.”

The inability to strike in the powerplay has been a particular Achilles heel for the Rocks, with the opposition’s opening pairs in both games posting partnerships in excess of 100.

The situation has been exacerbated by the fact that Rocks stand-in captain Henry Davids has put the opposition into bat on both occasions.

“I think in any game if you do it well, it doesn’t really matter what you do first. We probably haven’t bowled or fielded as well as (we) would have liked, which has resulted in us chasing 200.

“We were close to getting over the line first time. And (against the Stars) we didn’t bat well enough. It is tough work chasing 200,” Klinger said.

“We have struggled taking wickets thus far. We have played on a good batting surface and come up against some really good players too.

“But we certainly keep backing our bowlers to take wickets.

“We have a wicket-taker in (Tabraiz) Shamsi coming back into the team, so that will hopefully help a little bit. We just haven’t been at 100 percent in all three aspects.”

After playing a couple of matches back-to-back, the Rocks have a few days off ahead of Sunday’s derby against the Cape Town Blitz in Paarl to work through what exactly has gone wrong in their first two matches.

The fielding has been particularly disappointing, with four catches dropped on Tuesday, which included a couple of lifelines for Stars batsman Ryan Rickelton.

“We have been working really hard at training. We have possibly been lacking a bit of energy in attacking the ball sometimes.

“It certainly hasn’t been through (a) lack of effort,” Klinger said.


Cape Times

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