Optimistic captain says team will play tough to win
By Anand Subramaniam
Ranchi 11 May 2013
It was a team effort that helped theKolkata Knight Riders secure a 46-run victory in their previous fixture against thePune Warriors India. They got the runs, backed it up with a disciplined bowling display and the win kept their hopes alive for a play-off spot in the competition. Ask KKR captain Gautam Gambhir about his team’s chances in the tournament and he will sound as optimistic as ever, saying, “At the moment, the competition is pretty open. We still have a fair chance of reaching the play-offs. For me what matters is the remaining three games and we face RCB on Sunday, which is a must win game for us. Hopefully we can try and deliver.”
RCB are coming off a win against the Delhi Daredevils and will be high on confidence especially with their captain Virat Kohli going great guns with a 99 the on Friday night.Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers form the batting nucleus for RCB and when asked if KKR had a strategy to counter them, Gambhir said, “We do not strategise against individuals. We do not discuss individuals; we will only look to do what we do best and stick to our strength.”
Not surprisingly, KKR’s strength has been their bowling so far in the tournament. Sunil Narine, still remains a mystery for most sides while the likes of Jacuqes Kallis, Rajat Bhatia and L Balaji have been key bowlers in the KKR attack that has been consistent in the tournament so far. The captain agreed the fast bowlers and spinners had done their bit. “KKR is not dependent only on its spin bowlers. If you see in the tournament, Jacques Kallis and L Balaji too have done well for us, which are great signs for us. Spinners have been successful for us, they have been different, and they have not been conventional spinners. Our bowling unit on the whole has been good.”
But the real concern has been the batting for KKR. The batting line-up that boasts of big names in the side, has quite not lived up to the expectations and has failed to put up big scores on the board. Gambhir believed KKR were not clicking well as a cohesive unit.
“We have been consistent in patches through the tournament. There have been times when the batting has clicked and the bowling has not complemented it and vice-versa. We need to click as a collective unit, something that we did in the previous game. Hopefully we are professional in our batting, bowling and fielding when we play RCB.”
“We will try and win the win game on Sunday. Be it any situation, we as a team; enter the ground thinking about a victory. We do not play to participate. We will look to play some good cricket and get a win,” added Gambhir.
KKR play RCB at the JSCA international stadium in Ranchi, wherein the stadium will stage its first ever IPL game. A home venue for the Knights and Gambhir was hopeful for some good support for the home side. “I feel Ranchi is one of the best grounds in India, in terms of the facilities and other aspects of the ground. Hope we get the same amount of support like we get back home at the Eden Gardens. The crowd in Kolkata has been fantastic with their support and hopefully we get the same kind of support in Ranchi as well.”