Pune: Pune Warriors' head coach Allan Donald wants his players to "help each other out" and create a "relaxed environment" within the team in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL).
The cash-rich T20 league has not been a good experience for the most expensive franchise in the event, with the side finishing near or at the bottom in the last two editions, which prompted the management to elevate Donald from bowling coach to head coach this year.
"You just can't be pleasing cricketers for the sake of it. I just want guys to be part of the team and helping each other out. The care factor for me is huge. I want guys to look after each other. That creates that relaxed environment that I talk about," Donald said.
"That's pretty much what I look for. How we gel as a team, how we grow as a team and how we care as a team is going to be the key for us."
Terming his new role "intimidating" in a tournament that moves "at a million miles per hour", the former South Africa pace spearhead has urged his players to work as a team.
"I am going to have a meeting with our overseas players on their own to explain their commitment to our cause for the next two months. Every one of those players wants to play. I would be disappointed if I wasn't picked.
"But what is important for Pune Warriors is for everyone to be swimming up one stream, (and) not every way and direction like it went last year," Donald was quoted as saying by 'ESPNcricinfo'.
"And negativity spreads cancer. It does because it gets people talking, players talk among each other. And my message to the team is (to) be up front and honest. This is going to be the key. I am not here to make anyone promises."
Not many from the list of 23 players were given a long rope last year, leading to disharmony within the team. "I don't think last year was a great example for me. That was my first year, and I felt that at times, we were a bit gung-ho with our selection.
"At times, (we tried) quick fixes, which didn't work. I see that the teams that have been successful in the IPL have stuck with a certain group of players for a long period of time. And that's what I intend to do.
"Why fix (something) if it's not broken? All coaches and teams are looking for early momentum and confidence, and we have to earn the right to do that first of all.
Donald said he was not very keen on setting a target first up. "The hard part about this competition is to get your nose in front. I am not looking far ahead. I am not looking at the semi-finals or anything like that.
"I just want to concentrate on every game, and on what we do in every game. If it doesn't work and we go down fighting, so be it. To try and stick to certain processes is the key."
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