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In the previous two outings against King XI Punjab, Piyush Chawla had claimed three wickets each time. Although he didn’t repeat the feat in the most recent match against KXIP, Qualifier 1, the leg-spinner picked the key wicket of the dangerous David Miller. He also bowled economically to keep the flow of runs in check as the Kolkata Knight Riders coasted to a 28-run victory.
While speaking to IPLT20.com after a win that has taken the Gautam Gambhir-led side to the Final of Pepsi Indian Premier League 2014, he reflected on KKR’s winning streak and his bowling.
Excerpts from his interview:
How would you sum up KKR’s winning streak leading, which has led the team to the Final?
It is tremendous. Winning eight in a row and beating all the big teams feels good. And winning always boosts the confidence. You have performed well against KXIP in all the three games this season. How do you plan against a batting line-up like that?
I just follow my basics and try to mix my deliveries. Cricket has become so fast and advanced that everyone knows what the bowler might do. So, I make sure I keep them guessing.
KKR went all-out from the beginning when you came out to bowl. What were the plans?
It was drizzling and there had been a rain interruption, so there was a possibility that that the Duckworth/ Lewis method might come into play. So, we were looking for a few wickets up front, and we got them. Umesh Yadav picked up a couple of wickets and so did Morne Morkel. And the others also chipped in with wickets, so it was good.
How would you sum up KKR’s bowling effort?
It was amazing the way we bowled. Although Shakib Al Hasan was a bit on the expensive side, that sort of thing happens. He has bowled very well throughout the tournament, so there is no cause to worry. Everyone bowled well. Given KXIP’s explosive batting line-up, did you feel you had enough runs on the board?
Well, obviously because the wicket was on the slower side and it was turning a bit we did feel that way. With a 164-run target, an asking rate of about eight runs per over was never going to be easy.
The chants of ‘KKR jeetega’ (KKR will win) drowned the stadium today. How much does that boost your team?
The way the crowd backs you and cheers every run, boundary and six, that definitely is good. It is amazing!
The din at Eden Gardens reached fever pitch, as the Kolkata Knight Riders stormed their way into the Pepsi IPL 2014 Final after defeating the Kings XI Punjab by 28 runs. The legendary stadium had received a purple facelift as their heroes made it to their second IPL Final in emphatic fashion. While Robin Uthappa was one of the chief architects of the team’s prolific run this season, a lot of credit also needs to be given to the bowling line-up, which has defended totals successfully.
Take into consideration the KKR pace attack: Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav have been bowling well in tandem and were at their best on the big day against Kings XI Punjab. The duo accounted for five wickets, cleaning up the cream of the Kings XI batting line-up with ease. Umesh Yadav was adjudged Man of the Match for his three-wicket haul, and his pace-bowling partner was more than happy for his close friend.
Excerpts from his interview:
A place in the final – a perfect way to sign off from Eden Gardens?
When we left Dubai, we knew we had to raise our game in India. To win eight games in a row and to get into the IPL final is a dream come true. I have never in my life experienced anything like the crowd at Eden Gardens. To defend a total tonight at Eden Gardens was fantastic. I am glad that as a team, we could give a fitting finale to the crowd.
What did the bowling unit do to keep a strong Kings XI batting line-up quiet?
I think we have planned well against them and executed those plans well. The most important thing has been bowling the right bowlers at the right time. That is where Gautam Gambhir has been unbelievable this year. He has been rotating the bowlers well and bowling the right bowlers to the right batsmen. There is no special formula to it; the bowlers are doing well as a unit, which has helped us produce positive results.
What do you make of your bowling partner, Umesh Yadav?
I am a massive fan of Umesh. We have played together with the Delhi Daredevils and it is fantastic to play with him yet again; this time for KKR. He is a natural athlete. We are close friends and I really hope he can kick on from here and make that spot in the Indian bowling line-up his own.
How does it feel to be just one step away from grabbing the trophy?
I am very excited about that. Hopefully, I can make it to the starting XI in the Final at Bengaluru. We need to enjoy tonight and then refocus tomorrow morning. It is not every day that you play in an IPL Final. We have worked hard for it, but the job is still not done. We need to focus on the next 40 overs and play every ball to our potential.