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MI batsman says Sharma and he had decided to remain positive during their partnership
By Akshay Manwani
Kolkata 12 May 2012
AsRohit Sharmaproduced arguably the best innings of DLF IPL 2012 with a classy knock of 109*, Herschelle Gibbs had the best seat on the house. Gibbs, who played with Sharma earlier when both batsmen were part of the Deccan Chargers, shared an unbeaten 167-run stand with Rohit that powered Mumbai Indians to a 27-run win against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
iplt20.com caught up with Gibbs, who was playing his first game of the tournament for MI, for an exclusive chat at the end of the game.
The partnership between you and Rohit laid the foundation for your win.
Yes. Rohit played a very mature innings. Obviously, we needed somebody to help him through the whole innings. Unfortunately, we lost Sach [Sachin Tendulkar] early on. At the same time, we wanted to be positive, make use of the first six overs and to target the right areas to go for boundaries. We did that quite well today and the running between the wickets was good. I think this is one of the better knocks I have seen on a wicket that is slow and difficult to score on.
Did you have a target in mind when you opted to bat first?
We knew big scores were possible here and somebody had to get going up front. We played good shots today, we targeted the right areas and it paid off today. I have batted with Rohit before, so the running between the wickets was also good and that was the key to the partnership. It was just about good intensity all around and some good shots.
KKR’s two spinners bowled well. Did you, therefore, deliberately target their pacers?
As the partnership grows, you realise which bowlers you can target. Sometimes you have to absorb a little bit of pressure to exert a bit of pressure. There was a stage for about three or four overs where we just picked off the ones, especially against one seamer. Then, as we just kept going, I just watched Rohit pull the trigger and tee off. It was a very mature innings from him.
This win helps create a bit of a gap between you and some of the other teams competing for a playoff spot. But can you afford to relax?
No, no. There is no place for complacency. There are five teams that are pushing quite hard and you can’t afford to be complacent. Obviously, you want to try to find the best combination for whatever surface you play on. We are still not 100 percent as far as that is concerned. We haven’t played consistently good cricket, but we are still in the mix. That’s important, and we need to start peeking soon.
This was your first game of the tournament. Are you hoping to end the competition on a high?
[Laughs] I have waited for a long time for this. It has not been easy. I have worked quite hard on my fitness over the last five weeks. It’s always a bit frustrating having to watch because most of my career I have played more than I have watched. I just wanted to be mentally ready for when this opportunity came and today it was good.
Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder says about 160 would’ve been chaseable
By Akshay Manwani
Kolkata 12 May 2012
Shakib Al Hasan made a not-so-happy return to theKolkata Knight Riders playing XI as his team was convincingly beaten by the Mumbai Indians at the Eden Gardens today. Although Shakib himself bowled a good spell of 4-0-27-1, an unbeaten 167-run stand between Rohit Sharma (109*) and Herschelle Gibbs (66*), set MI up for a winning score of 182.
Shakib spoke to iplt20.com following his team’s 27-run loss to MI, which also ended KKR’s six-game winning run.
You were on a remarkable six-game winning streak. It had to come to an end some time?
Yes, but our bowling attack is one of the best bowling attacks in the IPL so far. We didn’t execute our plans. We went for plenty. 180 [odd] was too much for our batsmen. Between 150 to 160 would have been chaseable with the way we are batting; but with 180 we gave away 20 more runs.
When you say you didn’t execute you plans, do you mean the spinners kept it tight, but it was the pacers who went for far too many runs?
We knew that on that sort of track, it would be hard for the fast bowlers to contain [the batsmen]. We knew they would go for some runs. But still, if we had executed our plans properly, like bowling yorkers properly, they would not have scored many runs. If you see [Lasith] Malinga, the way he bowled the last two or three overs of his spell, it was amazing. Even though it was a flat track, you can’t get away with yorkers.
A word on Rohit Sharma’s innings.
Proper cricketing shots. He is a special talent. There is no doubt about it. Whenever he gets going it looks good from the outside [but] not when you are the opponent. He is a class player.
One of the criticisms leveled against KKR is that the batting relies too heavily on Gautam Gambhir. And because he got out early today and you were not able to chase down the score that argument only gets stronger. Your thoughts.
Yes, Gautam has been consistent for KKR this year. He has been the only batsman who has been consistent. Other than him, no one has really clicked. Brendon [McCullum] had a good game last game, but he wasn’t able to play because of an injury problem. Jacques Kallis played well today. Hopefully, he will continue with that. Yusuf Pathan got some runs. That will give him lot of confidence as well. It will help us go further in the tournament.
You made a comeback into the playing XI for this game. It’s either been you or Iqbal Abdulla who are partnering with Sunil Narine as specialist spinners. What is the idea behind rotating you and Iqbal?
I don’t know. It’s up to the management. Whatever they think is the best combination for KKR on that particular day, for that particular game, they can choose that. We don’t have any problem with that. We knew that some of the guys will be playing and some of the guys will be dropped. But we have to make sure that whenever we get our chance, we make full use of it, so that we can play more games.