Home > News >

IPL 2014: Kolkata Knight Riders have the strength to win tournament, says Wasim Akram

Kolkata Knight Riders bounced back well in IPL 2014 and are set to play a Qualifier © IANS
Kolkata Knight Riders bounced back well in IPL 2014 and are set to play a Qualifier © IANS

By Faisal Kamal

New Delhi: May 27, 2014

Eyeing another Indian Premier League (IPL) title after entering the playoffs, 2012 champions Kolkata Knight Riders are on a roll with a seven-match winning streak and bowling coach Wasim Akram has said that the purple brigade has all the “ammunition” to do it again.

“We are sure looking at the final. Top-four teams in the hunt and it could be anybody’s game. KKR is very confident unit but in T20 it is difficult to predict winners. But Kolkata have got the ammunition to win the title,” Akram, the Sultan of Swing, told PTI.

The Gautam Gambhir-led side were reeling at the bottom half after four losses early in the tournament but fortunes changed midway and it ended second behind table-toppers Kings XI Punjab after league stage. Akram attributed team’s turnaround to Gambhir’s smart leadership.

“It was a new team. We were trying to figure out the combinations. And here I must give credit to Gautam Gambhir for the kind of captain that he is. He is not defensive captain who tries to stop the runs or save the match. But he is a positive skipper who guns for the wickets and goes for a win,” said Akram.

If opener Robin Uthappa (613 runs in 14 matches) quietly took the orange cap away from Kings XI star Glenn Maxwell (533 runs in 13 matches) then spin ace Sunil Narine (20 wickets) has got the purple cap on his head. Wasim said that the team boasts of many impact players.

“Uthappa and Narine have surely contributed to the teams good showing. I also have to put in a word of praise for Shakib Al Hasan. The Bangladesh all-rounder is a world class player and we are lucky to have such players in the side,” said a beaming Akram.

Going through an extended run of bad form, Yusuf Pathan exploded against Sunrisers Hyderabad with a 22-ball 72 and single-handedly took KKR to the second spot. Akram cannot stop praising the burly hitter from Baroda.

“Yusuf is a game changer. As long as a player like Yusuf is on the field, bowlers and opposition are always on the backfoot. Bowlers and fielders fear him that he will change the course of the game very quickly. And he showed that at Eden,” said Akram.

On being quizzed about KKR giving an extended run to Yusuf despite being a complete dud in the last edition and a large part of this season, Akram said, “It is very difficult to bat at No.5 or 6 in this format. He just needs a little bit of confidence. I kept talking to him consistently. I told him how the psyche of a batsman and a bowler works.”

The Shah Rukh Khan co-owned unit has always been accused of not performing up to the potential with a host of stars at their disposal, but this season has been different and Akram opines that it’s all about teamwork.

“Overall it’s a very good side. Very talented and professional bunch of boys. They are enjoying each other’s presence and enjoying each other’s success. Even a veteran player like Kallis (Jacques) mixes with the younger lot,” said the former Pakistan skipper.

The left-arm pace legend was part of the team’s triumph in 2012 but KKR slipped to the seventh spot among the nine teams when Akram was on a break from his consultancy stint last year. The stalwart though brushed aside the comparison to mere coincidence.

“I think you should ask this question to the players and ask them how my absence last year and now my presence has affected the unit. Cricket is not about individuals but is a team sport. The day you start performing as a unit, you will start winning,” concluded a smiling Akram.

Click here for IPL 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 5 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 55 runs

Photos

CSK vs KKR, Match 1 CLT20 2014

Videos

Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Pakistan selectors thinking of dropping Younis Khan from ODI squad

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kane Williamson’s ton for Northern Knights against Cape Cobras proves that T20 isn’t all about slogging

Furious MS Dhoni and CSK check out of Hyderabad hotel following Biryani episode

Herbert Chang: The Jamaican of Chinese origin who wasted his life in South Africa

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kings XI Punjab’s batting gets the extra punch with Thisara Perera’s inclusion

Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 CSK vs KKR Hobart Hurricanes Hobart Hurricanes vs Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab vs Hobart Hurricanes KKR vs CSK Kolkata Knight Riders Northern Knights Pakistan

CLT20 2014: We didn’t field well, says Cape Cobras skipper Justin Ontong

Sachin Tendulkar’s 15-a-side idea rejected by Mumbai Cricket Association

Arjun Tendulkar scores 118 off 48 balls in Smaash Master Blaster Tournament

CLT20 2014: KKR take on spirited Lahore Lions

West Indies women defeat New Zealand women by 4 runs in dramatic last-over finish

Don Bradman plays his final innings in England

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers, Match 4, CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Barbados Tridents CLT20 2014 Match 5: KXIP’s likely XI

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kane Williamson’s ton for Northern Knights against Cape Cobras proves that T20 isn’t all about slogging

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

669 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes (HH) CLT20 2014

Happy New Year song Lovely: Deepika Padukone sizzles in this seductive number!

Beware, sitting for too long may cause early ageing

#UberMINI: Users in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore can book a free ride in a MINI today

iPhone 6 launch: Fans queue up across the world

Harsh Vardhan announces November 7 as the National Cancer Awareness Day

Leaked: Salman Khan’s Bigg Boss 8 performance pictures!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here