Gauti played really well: McCullum

Kolkata Knight Riders batsman says Gambhir is doing great as captain and batsman

By Akshay Manwani
Kolkata 29 April 2012
Brendon McCullum had the best view in the house as Gautam Gambhir unleashed himself on the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling attack in an innings (91 off 53) that set up a 47-run for the Kolkata Knight Riders. McCullum posted his best score of IPL 2012 with a 37-ball 43. In the process, he shared a 95-run opening stand with Gambhir, which was exactly half the innings score eventually posted by KKR.

Having witnessed Gambhir’s innings firsthand, thought it best to catch up with the Kiwi wicketkeeper-batsman at the end of the game for an exclusive interview.


How soon did you size up the wicket when you were opening?

I found it pretty tough to start. The way Gauti [Gautam Gambhir] is playing, he just makes things look ridiculously easy. He played some unbelievable cricket and probably made the wicket look a lot better than what it was. It [the wicket] certainly played a lot better than the ones we’ve had here. Hopefully, it will be the theme of things to come.

You scored only 11 from the first 20 deliveries you faced and then suddenly took off to finish at 43 off 37 balls. Was that a conscious decision because you have had a tough start to the tournament?

I was just a little bit rusty as I haven’t spent too much time out in the middle. It’s always hard to come out when you are searching for a score and [then] try banging from the ball one. I tried to settle [down]. The good thing was that we were still scoring nine-ten runs per over. It was nice to play a good hand and put up 90 [odd] runs for the first wicket.

You enjoyed going after Daniel Vettori as well?

Yeah. He normally gets me out, and did it again. He is a fine bowler and you can’t just sit on him. You have to try and score off him, otherwise he will just bowl his four overs for eight or nine runs. Yes, he won in the end, but I managed to get a few runs off him.

Gambhir seems to be leading from the front. He is among the leading run-getters in the tournament. Is he putting extra pressure on himself?

He is playing an incredible role, and obviously, he is a very, very good leader. He has been recognized as captain of India in the past and we can all understand why. He is playing very well and he is also leading very well. It’s great for us to have that from our skipper.

You have been part of the KKR side for four out of five seasons the competition has been played. Do you think this is the most balanced KKR side?

Yes, definitely. While we had a reasonable team early on, but we were struggling to get things going. But moving on five years, the balance of the side we have got is outstanding. We have strengthened both our bowling and batting and you look at the Indian players, they are really standing out. It’s definitely a better balanced team. We have a long way to go, but we are playing well at the moment, which is good.
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