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Royal Challengers Bangalore will be a touch short on batting firepower for the first half of the IPL due to the absence of some of their big-hitting foreign stars, but their coach Ray Jennings was confident the team could cope despite missing Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor.

Pietersen will be busy with England's Tests against Bangladesh until March 24 and Taylor will be occupied by the series against Australia until the end of the month. "It's is an issue when you miss the likes of Taylor and KP, but you know what I'm a positive guy," said Jennings after supervising a two-and-a-half hour training session at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. "I'm not going to look at that, they arrive on the first of April and so be it, I've got to start finding another Kevin Pietersen in the stands, or turning some of our players like [Manish] Pandey or [Virat] Kohli into a Pietersen."

While some of the foreign players will miss parts of the tournament, Jennings was pleased with the progress of several of the Indian players in the squad, such as fast bowlers Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun who were the leading wicket-takers in this season's Ranji Trophy.

Virat Kohli, who has started to turn in some impressive performances with the national team, was another member whose development has heartened the coach. Jennings, who first saw Kohli during the 2008 Under-19 World Cup, identified him as someone who could lead the national side in the years ahead.

"I thought he was unfocussed [in 2008], I sat him down during the IPL in South Africa, and I said you know what, I'm not going to accept certain things," Jennings said. "He's responded to me, in October I said to him he needs to start setting standards for himself, because I see him as a future Indian captain. I have watched him in the South African series, he's become a very organised human being, he's settled down, he's not going over the top."

Kohli wasn't at his best last October during the Champions League Twenty20, where Bangalore failed to make the semi-finals. Jennings, however, said that his side had actually played better in the Champions League than in the IPL, where they finished as runners-up. "Don't judge results by the trophy," he said. "Because I thought we played better cricket in October than in South Africa, we scored 180 three times. The playing and overall unit was better."

The IPL returns to India this season after the competition was held in South Africa in 2009 because security of players couldn't be guaranteed due to Indian general elections taking place at the same time as the tournament. Over the past few weeks, several player unions have raised concerns over player safety, but Jennings said he had no worries about coming to India. "From my side I have no problem with India, it's a good place to come, I trust the bosses in what they are doing," he said. "I'm very positive about it, from my side I'm encouraging the players to be here on time, and I have no negative feedback from the players."

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