Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has no qualms in admitting that he has missed injured Ambati Rayudu badly in the last two games, and said that the three-time champions are "lacking a bit of steam" in their batting unit in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
Rayudu played a brilliant 48-ball 71-run knock in CSK's five-wicket win over defending champions Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener but the right-hander has been on the sidelines in the last two matches owing to a hamstring injury.
But Dhoni expressed hope that Rayudu will be available in their next game, which according to him will provide much-needed balance to the side.
"I don't think it was a good game for us. There was no dew, but the wicket did slow down. We are lacking a bit of steam in the batting and that hurts. The run rate keeps on mounting after such slow starts and adds pressure, we need to figure that out.
"We need to come back with a clearer picture, looking at the combination. Maybe, the team balance will get better once Rayudu comes back in the next game," Dhoni said after losing by 44 runs to Delhi Capitals on Friday.
"That will give us the room to experiment with an extra bowler perhaps. There are quite a few things we can think about. We are one batter extra to start off, so the players need to step up."
The veteran skipper also asked his bowlers to pull up their socks after two ordinary outings.
"We need to get better with our lengths, lines and pace. I think the spinners have not come to the party yet. We are bowling good deliveries, but we are giving away the boundary deliveries bit too often," he said.
Barring some fielding lapses, Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer is happy with the performance of his side so far.
"I am really happy with the performance. I would give them the benefit of doubt, is tough to catch in these conditions. You misjudge the ball, really don't know how to pace yourself," he said.
"In the team meeting we decided that we are going to assess the batting conditions early and then play accordingly. The way the openers started gave us a lot of confidence and the finish was good too. I am lucky to have KG (Rabada) and Nortje in the team. It's important to stick together as a team and we need to enjoy each other's success."