A breakdown of the questions you voted on will appear here.
Pulse connects you to the
Get closer to the this season by using Pulse while you watch the LIVE matches. Pulse asks you a range of questions relevant to the LIVE action as it unfolds. Your votes will be featured in the telecast in real-time and debated by the commentators, players and stars. If you've got a great question of your own, we'd love to hear it.
The Kolkata Knight Riders had already qualified for the playoffs even before they played their last league match of IPL 2012, in Pune. The team wanted to go into the knockouts with the confidence of a big win behind them. That’s exactly what the players provided – a comprehensive 34-run victory over the Pune Warriors India.
After the match, iplt20.com spoke to the KKR opener, Brendon McCullum. The Kiwi, who is known for his big hitting, batted with a changed approach this season, scoring his runs more sedately. McCullum put it down to the conditions and the slowness in the tracks. He hoped the team encounters a few fast pitches in the playoffs for him to show his pyrotechnics with the bat. The wicketkeeper-batsman also spoke about the experience of keeping wickets to the mystery bowler Sunil Narine and admitted he’d rather ‘keep to him than face him.
A wonderful way to go into the playoffs.
Yes, it is. This was a tough game as it was difficult to bat on this track. I thought Shakib Al Hasan played extremely well to give us some momentum in the middle overs and take us to a score, which proved too much to get on such a wicket. Can we expect to see one of those trademark Brendon McCullum blistering knocks in the playoffs?
I hope so. The conditions what I play here in are definitely very different from the ones I’m used to back home. But I’ve got to try and find a way to make some contribution. I’d love to go out there and bat like Chris Gayle, but that’s not happening. Hence, I have to change my style for the sake of the team. I’ve been very fortunate to form a good opening pair with Gauti [Gautam Gambhir]. Hopefully, we come across some faster wickets in the playoffs and the final, if we make it that far. How difficult is it to alter your game depending on the conditions?
It is very difficult, but it’s a demand that modern-day cricketers have to fulfil. There are some wickets that suit free-flowing batsmen and I haven’t come across too many of those this season. Having said that, ultimately, what matters is the result going our way. If we win games by nicking and nudging around, so be it. What are your thoughts on Sunil Narine, having kept to him right through the tournament?
He’s a genius and an incredible bowler. He’s made a huge impact on this tournament so far and he’s got a massive future in front of him. Sunil’s been outstanding for us thus far and he’s got to continue that if we’re to go all the way in this tournament.
What’s the most difficult thing about keeping to him?
Trying to pick which way the ball is going to spin is definitely the hardest. At times, you see the ball, but you really don’t know what’s going on. You just try and make sure you don’t get too many wrong. Do you prefer ‘keeping to him or facing him as a batsman?
I definitely prefer keeping to him. You get the extra couple of yards to see the ball. I’m really privileged to get the opportunity to keep to him. I’ll be facing him when we [New Zealand] play the West Indies after the IPL. That’s going to be interesting.
IPL 2012 ended for the Pune Warriors India on a glum note with a thumping home defeat against the Kolkata Knight Riders. The Sourav Ganguly-led team have finished the season with just eight points from 16 games. After the team were done with their last match of IPL 2012, iplt20.com caught up with their wicketkeeper-batsman and senior player, Robin Uthappa.
He expressed disappointment about the fact that the team was not able to play according to its potential, but he marked out the positives that PWI achieved this season. He also rued the close losses that they suffered and stressed on the importance of developing the temperament to clinch games in pressure situations.
Can you put a finger on what has gone wrong with the team?
It’s hard to say at this point, but today, clearly the wicket got worse as the match went on. Even 130 looked difficult as it got very tough to bat. That’s, however, not an excuse as we have had a bad season. We began really well, but somewhere we lost the momentum.
How would you analyse this season for the Pune Warriors India?
We played close games this year, but on the whole, we were bad. As a unit, we never felt we were not up to the mark. We had quality players, we were a very strong side, but somehow results never showed that. Even the atmosphere in the dressing room was very positive. We lost games by five runs or seven runs, even by one run. Those kinds of defeats hit you hard. We couldn’t come back from there.
You spoke about the team not winning close games. Does that mean you guys need to work on mental toughness to handle pressure situations?
Yes, absolutely. There were so many games where we won 35 overs out of 40. Momentum is also very important in this format. When you lose momentum, nothing goes your way, and so you’ve got to respect the momentum and build on it.
How did you feel about your own performance?
As far as batting is concerned I had a pretty decent IPL. I scored 400-odd runs in 16 games. If I had some consistency at any given batting position, I would have had a little more. It was difficult to keep switching batting positions, but I need to work on that aspect. If we take care of these issues, we will come better next year.
How about your wicketkeeping? You seem to have become a specialist keeper now.
I have been working on it and it hasn’t been the greatest season as far as keeping is concerned. I definitely want to work on it. I am really enjoying it on certain wickets like the one in Pune where one ball turns and other keeps low. It keeps you on your toes and you can’t relax for a single ball. I am going to work on my keeping and batting as well. I would want to score 550 runs instead of 400 in the next season. What are the positives that the team will take home?
There are quite a few performances and Steve Smith has been exceptional. Guys like Callum Ferguson – he is such a great team player and having him in the dressing room is fantastic. Even Jesse Ryder, for that matter. Even though we didn’t do well this season, we enjoyed ourselves as cricketers. If we go on to win matches and be in the top four, the atmosphere in the dressing room is going to be so much better.
How much did the team miss Yuvraj Singh?
We have missed Yuvi a lot. The kind of impact that he creates on the field is tremendous. We are pretty sure that he will be back next year for us.
How was it playing under Sourav Ganguly?
I think Dada has done the best he could do and you have respect his age well. It’s the format that is most challenging for someone of his age. He has done a wonderful job for us in whatever capacity he could.
How has the experience of playing at Pune Warriors India’s home ground been?
To be completely honest, we feel that we have let the supporters down. We want to apologise to the people in Pune. Even though we lost games, they came in large numbers for every match. Even the afternoon games were full and they didn’t mind coming to support us in insane heat. There were so many times that we kept telling ourselves that lets win games for them, they sit in so much heat and support us. Hopefully, the wicket gets better; it’s the toughest wicket we have played in the country and its very difficult to score runs here. Hopefully, it gets better and we have belters next season.