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Team not affected by two consecutive losses, insists Morgan
By IPL Staff
Kolkata 13 April 2013
The Kolkata Knight Riders started off their IPL campaign with a bang, winning against the Delhi Daredevils at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. But in the two games that followed, the Knights have barely got going. They failed to chase 145 against the Rajasthan Royals and in the next game were blown away by the Gayle storm as they suffered an eight wicket loss on Thursday.
Now they face the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, and will be hoping for a change in fortunes at their home ground. “Twenty20 is a funny game.” Eoin Morgan said as he addressed the press in Kolkata.
“We could have easily won the game in Rajasthan; we underperformed. Again it was the same thing in Bangalore; we did not score upfront to start with and then Gayle got going. The momentum is against us at the moment but tomorrow at our home ground we’ll try and produce our own skills, try and concentrate on our own things and on what we do best. Hopefully we can produce a win,” he added
Morgan also looked at thinking about the positives rather than dwelling on the back to back losses. “Sunil Narine bowled particularly well in both games, which is a huge positive because he is a huge match-winner, especially at home. It is always good to see your main players doing well, even when the team is not doing well. As it happens in winning teams, the most experienced players lead from the front and others fall in behind. Hopefully that will start tomorrow.”
On a personal front, Morgan has scored 67 runs in the three matches he has been a part of. He scored a half century against the Rajasthan Royals in the KKR run chase, but failed to take his side home. The left handed batsman was happy with his form so far in the tournament.
“Against the Rajasthan Royals, during the run chase, we were looking for boundaries all the time. It so happened that we lost wickets continuously which was very disappointing. On another day, the ball might clear the rope, or bounce for four runs. But, of course, we have to be better tomorrow. I feel I am in form; I have been striking the ball well.”
When asked if there was the threat of Dale Steyn looming large in the dressing room, Morgan said, “He is bowling particularly well at the moment. But I don’t see the pitch suiting him here; I do not think he played here last year. I will be surprised if he plays tomorrow.”
As a team packed with a healthy mix of experienced campaigners like Adam Gilchrist, David Hussey and Azhar Mahmood and youngsters like Mandeep Singh, Manan Vohara, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, the King XI Punjab will be looking to get back to winning ways when they take on the Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Sunday.
While addressing the media on the eve of the match and before training, Coach Darren Lehmann said, “Every game is important for all sides in the tournament especially early on. So, yes we would like to have a crystal ball and like to have a win on the board tomorrow night but we have to play well. The Rajasthan Royals are a very good side and they play very well at home.”
Besides playing well at home, the Royals have a good pace attack comprising the likes of S Sreesanth and Shaun Tait which had caused trouble for the Kolkata Knight Riders in their previous game at home. Asked about S Sreesanth, the KXIP coach said, “He has bowled well in the past. They have a good bowling attack, not only Sreesanth but they also have Shaun Tait and Siddharth Trivedi is a very experienced player. We will have to bat well, better than we did the other night (against the Chennai Super Kings). But we have looked at all their bowlers and come up with some plans.”
The visitors do not have a good record against RR. However, Lehmann hopes that they can turn things around tomorrow. “Hopefully we change that tomorrow. The wicket looks really good and the curator has done a very good job. It should be a good scoring game. Take stock of the conditions early and play as well with bat and ball.”
Asked if age will be factor in the performance for KXIP, given that they have a few very senior cricketers in the side, he said, “They have been superstars of the game and we expect them to play well regardless of age. We have seen that Rahul Dravid has done really well in this tournament and our guys are going to play well as well.”
“The only one that is not here is Shaun Marsh due to injury. We are all good, a full squad to pick from. Shaun Marsh is still in Australia but everyone else is fit and ready to go.”
Asked if Aniket Choudhary, who knows the ground very well is likely to play tomorrow, Lehmann responded, “He has been exciting and a local boy here and he has done really well for us in the trial games and we have brought him here for specific reason obviously. He knows the wicket here really well but he may play or he may not. I am not going to tell you tonight.”
Speaking about their performance so far in the tournament, he said, “In the first game I think we fared the best in the whole tournament and then the next game was a big let down and that happens when you don’t play well. We prepared as we normally would for any other game. We have got some young players in the side and they are good fielders and I expect a better performance in the field.”
“Our first game was ‘A’ grade and we played really well and in the second game we were poor. But that is just the way it was. As a side we are working towards being more consistent. Off the two games one was very good and the other wasn’t so. I think we need to be more consistent in this tournament and that is what we need to get to.”