Michael Klinger under pressure as Melbourne Renegades face form slump

“He is in the second year of his two-year contract so, obviously, he is going to be up for grabs, so to speak. He will give his thoughts and everything at the end of the season,” Graf said on Monday.

“It’s a difficult period of time, he is under a bit of pressure, he knows it’s the second year of his contract and we have got to act accordingly. How we finish off the season I suppose, will have a fair lend to what we do next – whether or not we persevere or we continue on and extend.”

It’s been a season like no other because of the impact of COVID-19. Living in hubs hasn’t been easy, while the Renegades’ opening nine matches are on the road before their first home game on January 14. Imports were still quarantining when the season started, there have been injuries, while the top order has yet to click in a season where three times the team has failed to reach three figures.

You don’t have to be Einstein to work out they are not batting very well.

Shaun Graf

Skipper Aaron Finch, one of the sport’s greatest openers, was switched to No.3 against Perth on Sunday, with struggling No.3 Sam Harper was elevated to opening, but that plan did not work. The Renegades opted to chase a bonus point in the hope of leading at the 10th over but instead lost too many wickets.


If Klinger loses the job, Victorian greats Brad Hodge and Cameron White would be strong candidates.

“It would be fair to say we would rather be in a better position, and ‘Maxi’ would rather be in a better position win-loss ratio than he is in at the moment, but you have to wait until the full season pans out. They still have another seven games to go, there is a still a fair bit of the season up grabs, you have to base it on that and see where we end up,” Graf said.

“Obviously, I have made a few phone calls and had a few chats to different people just to see where we are falling down. You don’t have to be Einstein to work out they are not batting very well.”

Shaun Marsh, the Renegades’ leading run scorer, will miss Tuesday’s clash against Adelaide because of the birth of his third child, while South African top order batsman Rilee Rossouw has a hamstring strain.

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Sydney Sixers vs Melbourne Renegades, Michael Klinger

Melbourne Renegades coach Michael Klinger has lamented a poor tactical decision for his side’s record-breaking defeat against the Sydney Sixers on Sunday evening.

Chasing 206 for victory at Blundstone Arena, the Renegades suffered a cataclysmic collapse to be rolled for 60, the second-lowest team total in BBL history.

The Melbourne-based club also suffered the largest defeat in 10 years of BBL cricket, their 145-run loss comfortably toppling the previous record of 112.

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Speaking to reporters after the match, Klinger revealed the team had opted to chase the Bash Boost point after all-rounder Beau Webster was dismissed in the fifth over.

The newly-introduced innovation ensured the Renegades would gain one point from the match if they had more runs than the Sixers at the 10-over mark.

Unfortunately, instead of accelerating towards the more achievable 76-run target, the Renegades continued to lose quick wickets in a “horrible” batting performance.

“After that start, our tactics were obviously, as you would have seen, to try and get that bonus point,” Klinger told reporters after the match. “It just sort of kept getting worse after that, a bit of a trainwreck I suppose.

“The tactics were fine, and boys had a crack … it just got worse because of our execution when we tried to go for that point.

“It just didn’t work out.”

Sixers opening batsman Josh Phillipe was awarded Player of the Match for his classy 95 off 57 balls in the first innings.

The young gun sympathised with the Renegades’ unorthodox strategy, acknowledging the value in chasing the Bash Boost target.

“It does create an opportunity to still get a point,” Philippe told reporters after the match.

“It’s an interesting initiative … when you are a few wickets down, it probably becomes more important to try and go for it.

“I don’t think there’s any problem with what they did. I just think they didn’t execute, and we bowled really well.”

Klinger pointed out his squad had gone through a “big turnaround”, less than 24 hours earlier defeating the Perth Scorchers in their season opener at the same venue.

“We had two varied games,” Klinger told Channel 7. “A fantastic performance last night against a strong Scorchers team, and today a horrible one.

“We’ve got a five-day break now, so the boys have time to regroup and come back stronger.

“We won’t review straight away … but the message will definitely be around, ‘You had a crack, but the execution wasn’t great’.”

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Klinger also accepted his bowlers did not implement their skills well enough against a talented Sixers batting line-up.

“We could have executed with the ball a little bit better,” Klinger said in the post-match conference. “We were bowling to some set batsmen tonight, compared to last night when we were bowling to guys at the tailend.

“In that case, you’ve got to be spot on when you execute with the ball, and we probably weren’t quite there.”

The Renegades will next face the Hobart Hurricanes on Saturday morning, with the first ball scheduled for 11:10am AEDT.

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