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Iplt20.com caught up with van der Merwe immediately after the match for an exclusive chat.
Did the toss play a big factor today?
I won’t say it played a big factor. We decided to bowl first and we struck early on. We got three wickets very quickly, which put the opposition on the back foot. If you lose momentum with wickets, it is hard to recover.
Was it a deliberate plan to have four different bowlers up front or did Virender Sehwag play it according to the situation?
I think Viru [Sehwag] played it on feeling. He is that type of captain – when something feels right, he calls on you. He just tells us [to] be ready to bowl, and when something is happening, he’ll call on you to bowl. He thinks about it and just acts on it. Was there much turn in the wicket?
There was not much turn. It was a shiny deck; the ball skidded on a bit. The seam was getting wet, it was hard to grip and so it was hard to turn the ball tonight. Was the absence of a majority of the international players a motivating factor for the lesser known faces to perform well?
Definitely. When you have got big players like them in the side, you know that you won’t be getting a lot of game time, and when you get a chance you want to show what you are about. As a squad, we just want to win games. So, whoever plays, we support that. Your side fielded pretty well. Is that an area you have conscientiously focused on this season?
Definitely. Fielding in pro T20 cricket wins games or loses games even though you don’t bat or bowl with it. It’s a deciding factor. A great catch or a good run-out puts pressure on the batting side. Fielding is a big factor. Which one are you gunning for – the Purple Cap or the Orange Cap?
Wicketkeeper-batsman credits Morne Morkel for knocking over KKR top order
By Akshay Manwani
Kolkata 06 April 2012
Kolkata Knight Riders disappointed a packed Eden Gardens crowd, who patiently weathered a 150-minute rain delay, by stumbling to an eight-wicket defeat against the Delhi Daredevils. On a wicket that proved to be good for batting by the end of the game, the KKR batsman were completely outplayed by the DD bowlers as the home team was restricted to 97 for nine in 12 overs.
Brendon McCullum, who opened the batting for KKR in the game, spoke of the team’s mediocre performance in an exclusive interview with iplt20.com. Did the rain affect your game plan?
I don’t think so. Morne [Morkel] bowled incredibly well to knock out the top order. Sometimes in the shorter version [of the] game, some class bowlers can shine through. We were not quite good enough today, so we are going to try to get the rustiness out of the way and get ourselves ready for the next game.
Tell us something about the wicket. When you were batting it looked like the wicket was doing a lot, but the way Aaron Finch and Irfan Pathan batted it looked a pretty steady wicket to bat on.
I think we were always behind. Some of our young Indian players played really well to get us to a score, which made them work hard. The way their quality players at the top of the order came out and played, 90-odd was never going to be enough. Tell us something about Debabrata Das in particular?
I thought he struck the ball really well today. It’s exciting for us to have such a quality Indian player down in the middle order there. It bodes well for the coming games. We just have to keep believing, keep the side strong, keep trying to get better, and hopefully, we’ll play better in the next few games. Are you enjoying getting back to Kolkata?
Yes, it feels great to be back. It’s a great bunch of guys, wonderful owners and you don’t get to play at too many grounds like Eden Gardens. With the fan base here, they’re fanatical. It’s great to be back.
Any personal milestone you have set for yourself in this tournament?
I want to contribute as much as I can and try to be consistent with the bat. Didn’t work out today; but still maintain my aggressiveness, try and gain some consistency and make as many contributions to the team as I can. That’s all I’m trying to do, and hopefully, that’ll go a long way in helping our team win games.