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Kolkata Knight Riders medium-pacer says his team didn’t want to repeat errors from last game
By Akshay Manwani
Mohali 19 April 2012
The Kolkata Knight Riders exacted their revenge against Kings XI Punjab when they thrashed them by eight wickets at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. It was a clinical performance by the Knight Riders, who were certainly smarting from their unsatisfactory defeat against Punjab in their last encounter. KKR first restricted their opponents to 124, and then chased down the score comfortably in 16.3 overs.
Rajat Bhatia,who finished with impressive figures of 4-0-23-1 in the match, spoke on his team’s turnaround in an exclusive interview with iplt20.com It must be good to bounce back after that disappointing loss to KXIP a few nights ago.
Definitely. The last match was also not a high-scoring game and we should have batted sensibly. But this match, we knew the mistakes we had made in the last match, and so we were very much into it.
KKR made as many as three changes for this game. How much of it was due to the different conditions here and how much of it was because of the performance in the last game?
We have to realize what kind of combination we should be playing when we are playing in Kolkata and what kind of combination [we should play] when we are playing out. We always knew it’s going to be a good track and so we wanted Bala [Lakshmipathy Balaji] back and [Brendon] McCullum to open the innings. That helped us actually. So, right combination at the right place should always be the case.
KKR also changed their batting order with Gautam Gambhir opening the innings with McCullum and Jacques Kallis coming down the order. Why?
We always wanted that; we wanted a quick start. Kallis could have opened, but we didn’t want to send McCullum down [the order]. It was a team decision, and it worked.
You played Kings XI Punjab in two back-to-back games and now you will play the Deccan Chargers in two back-to-back games. Does it help that you are more familiar with the opponent in back-to-back games?
Definitely. But it also depends where you are playing. When the teams are playing on a good track and then they go and play in Chennai, they always find it difficult. That is an advantage. But sometimes it’s a disadvantage as well. When you play in Kolkata and then you go out and play, that is also a challenge. You have to accept all conditions wherever you play.
Medium-pacers like you and Balaji are having a very good tournament. Can you share the secret of your success with our readers?
To be honest, you have to read the game, the wicket really fast. When I bowl in Kolkata – there the camp starts 10 days before the start of the IPL – so you get to read the wicket. But when you come here and see the wicket, you never know what you are going to do. It’s always a mind game. When you play, you should be thinking what the batsman is going to do. That is what we are trying to do, and which is why we have been successful.
Kings XI Punjab batsman admits there was nothing wrong with Mohali wicket
By Akshay Manwani
Mohali 19 April 2012
Having beaten the Kolkata Knight Riders on a difficult Eden Gardens wicket three days ago, Kings XI Punjab were supposed to pull off back-to-back wins playing in front of their home crowd. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way for the Punjab franchise as they lost by eight wickets to KKR in what will surely be considered a lopsided result.
Paul Valthaty, who once again disappointed with the bat today, spoke of his team’s abject surrender to the Knight Riders in an exclusive interview with iplt20.com What was the problem with the wicket?
We were short by at least 30-40 runs. It was a pretty good wicket to bat on, but unfortunately, our top three batsmen didn’t get stuck in. Gilly [Adam Gilchrist] was unfortunate that the injury came at the wrong time for him. So, we never really got going according to the wicket.
Was Gilchrist’s injury the turning point in your innings?
In T20, it hardly needs two or three batsmen to get a good score. Today, I thought Gilly and Shaun Marsh, would do that. But when the tempo was building for Gilchrist, he had that freak injury and after that the innings never really got going.
What did you think of Gautam Gambhir’s match-winning 66 not out?
It just shows what a class player he is; a true professional. Although it was a small target, he got stuck in and didn’t try anything fancy. He got the target done [all] by himself.
In such a lopsided game, were there any positives for Kings XI Punjab?
I think the batting of Adam Gilchrist [was a positive]. Unfortunately, even he hasn’t got going in the tournament yet. He sort of got his act going today. So that was a plus point. And the fielding – you saw David Hussey going for that catch in the last over – we never really gave in. But, all said and done, winning matters and let’s hope we are good for the run.
Are you putting yourself under extra pressure to match last year’s form, which explains your own slow start in the tournament?
I don’t think [I’m putting] extra pressure [on myself]. The nature of T20 is such. I had a first-ball dismissal, in one game I sacrificed my wicket for Adam Gilchrist and today I was getting in and then I got a good delivery from Brett Lee. I’m definitely short of runs, but it’s up to me to pull up my socks and do well for the team.