Need to maintain two-game cushion: Gambhir

KKR skipper does not want a must-win situation

By Harsh Kalan
Raipur 30 April 2013
The Kolkata Knight Riders have arrived in Raipur needing a win to bolster their case for a playoffs spot. Having lost their previous match to the Chennai Super Kings, KKR need to ensure they don’t slip into another losing streak, thereby hampering their chances of qualifying for the latter stages of IPL 2013.

During his pre-match press conference, skipper Gautam Gambhir highlighted the importance of a win for his team over the Delhi Daredevils. He also said that the last thing his side needed was to get into a must-win situation, as opposed to a two-game cushion they have at the moment.

Here are excerpts from Gambhir’s media interaction:

The importance of Wednesday’s game?

It is an important game. What I got to know after the Chennai match was that we need to win five out of our remaining seven games to qualify for the playoffs. And we don’t want to get into a situation where each game is a must-win game. Hopefully, we can try and start the journey Wednesday onwards and show what we are really capable of doing.

The importance of playing well, consistently?

Right now, we have a two-match cushion (to qualify for the playoffs). So, we will try our best to win games and play good cricket. I think, we have played good cricket in patches, and not consistently. So, we hope to play good cricket consistently.

Does KKR have plans for any specific DD players?

We don’t have any strategies to tackle individuals. We will purely try to do well as a team and against the whole opposition, and not just one person.

Does a captain’s job become harder when his team is not performing consistently?

Absolutely, when you are not playing consistent cricket, your job as a captain and leader becomes even more important.

When there have been a lot of ups and downs in the journey, it poses a challenge. You are in a situation where you not only have to lift the entire team, but also lift your own performance. When the team is doing well, you can concentrate on your own game and work on your performance.
But the situation we are in, I need to think about my game and most importantly I need to think about the team and how to win a game of cricket.

Is Yusuf Pathan’s form a cause for frustration?

It’s not frustrating (that Pathan is not among the runs). KKR is not about Yusuf Pathan. It’s frustrating when the entire team is not doing well.
There will be a situation when certain people will be in good rhythm while others are not. Those who are doing well, need to make it count and do enough for those who are not, because the situation can change very quickly.

At the moment, I am not even thinking about Pathan’s form. The only thing I am thinking about is where KKR are at the moment.

Are bowlers becoming smarter while bowling in the Twenty20 format?

A lot of people are saying that the bowlers have dominated. The bowlers have become much smarter and there is more variety and more innovative fields now.

They know that a batsman will come at them hard, so they have developed ways to tackle this. Now, it’s time for the batsmen to get smarter as well. But certainly, bowlers have become much smarter than they were a couple of seasons back.

Does DD hold an advantage given their recent win at Raipur?

I don’t know if there is such a benefit. Whoever plays better on a particular day wins. When a match starts, both teams begin from zero. 
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