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Jacques Kallis, the greatest all-rounder in the world today, has seen many moments of glory during his still sparkling 17-year-long international career. When he can’t stop gushing over a victory, it means it is something special to him. The man with over 23,000 runs and 500 wickets in international cricket was basking in the glory of the Kolkata Knight Riders’ IPL final win over the Chennai Super Kings.
Kallis, who has been KKR’s strongest pillar in both bowling and batting, spoke to iplt20.com after the final in Chennai. He explained how the 2011 season set the base on which the team thrived in IPL 2012. He also spoke about the change in his own role in the team as compared to last season.
The wait finally ends.
It’s a fantastic feeling and well-deserved. I think the whole season, we have played some really good cricket. Everybody has put up their hands to win us games. Different guys have put their hands up at different times and that is what you need in a big tournament like this. Today, the way [Manvinder] Bisla played was unbelievable. How was the pressure ahead of the big finale?
On final day, anything can happen. We just need to hang in there and stick to our basics. You need to absorb a little bit of pressure and try and exert it on the opposition, which I thought, we did really well. Chasing down 190 was not an easy task, but we never panicked. We just kept playing and kept believing in our plan and that’s what worked in the end.
What was the talk in the dressing room after conceding 190?
They had already scored above par, but we knew that if we get partnerships going, somebody to bat through and guys play aggressively around him, we could really chase it down. We didn’t lose wickets and it was a perfect chase for us.
Your thoughts on Sunil Narine.
What a fantastic talent he is! He was brilliant for us by taking wickets and keeping the runs down. He has had an unbelievable season. The way batsmen have played on some tough wickets, especially at home, they stuck in there and we have won some crucial games. It’s been a good fighting effort all season. What was the main difference within the team in this season and the last one?
I think we got a nice base last season. Last year the guys started believing and we played some good cricket, but unfortunately, we fell short. This season guys really pulled it through, and again, it was just a combination of the guys putting their hands up at different times and fighting all the way.
Your role in the team has been a bit different this time around.
I played a different role this season; I batted a little lower in the order, which means I was not going to get as many runs. I am happy the way I have contributed with the bat and even more pleased with the way I contributed with the ball. I am very proud of what I have achieved and even prouder of what KKR has achieved.
KKR batsman delighted to score championship-winning runs
By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Chennai 28 May 2012
Glory finally graced the purple and gold brigade’s fortunes. Newly-crowned IPL 2012 champions, the Kolkata Knight Riders, got their first taste of silverware thanks to a sublime team batting performance. The base was set by the likes of Manvinder Bislaand Jacques Kallis, but it was a Kolkata lad, who eventually saw KKR home while batting under immense pressure. Manoj Tiwaryensured that his team didn’t return home empty-handed after hitting the winning runs.
The 26-year-old Kolkata native revealed that he always wanted to be the Knights’ hero in a brief chat with iplt20.com, after their epic victory.
How does it feel to finally be called an IPL champion?
It feels great because we’ve been struggling for the last four years to get into the knockout stage and win the trophy. This was needed very badly. I am so happy for Shah Rukh Khan because he has been the main pillar of support for us. Whether we have won or whether we have lost he has been a constant support for us. I just want to dedicate the last two boundaries to him because I feel for him. So, I tried to make a point by hitting a couple of boundaries. What is it like for you to be a Kolkata boy and doing it for the Kolkata franchise?
I always wanted to be a hero for my side no matter which team I play for. God has blessed me tonight to hit those crucial boundaries. I am really thankful to God, to all my physios and my support staff, because I wasn’t feeling 100 percent before the match. But they made me feel so comfortable that I was able to compete in the match.
You stopped CSK from making a hat-trick of titles. You can now start out your own legacy with KKR?
That’s right. This tournament has been all about teamwork for us. All the credit goes to each and every guy in the team.