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

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (12:30 IST)   at Bulawayo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 16, 2014  at Galle

South Africa won by 153 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

India’s wins in England — from 1971 to 2014

Ravindra Jadeja knighted by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II

India’s win over England in 2nd Test at Lord’s: Twitter reactions

Ishant Sharma pummels England into submission as India clinch Lord’s Test by 95 runs

Ishant Sharma registers name at Lord’s honours board, takes 6 wickets in 2nd Test against England

Bhuvneshwar Kumar England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma MS Dhoni South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

Ishant Sharma signs deal with Cornerstone Sport

India tour of England 2014: Graeme Swann requests Alastair Cook to break routine

Clive Rice, former South African all-rounder turns 65

Asian Games 2014: Cricket teams confirmed; India will not be participating

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: Ravichandran Ashwin should play, says Bishen Singh Bedi

Stuart Binny and the selection conundrum for India’s third Test against England at Southampton

Can America be the ‘Land of Opportunity’ for cricket?

Graham Gooch’s fabulous numbers in all forms of cricket

India tour of England 2014: Ishant Sharma and the curious case of Indian fast bowling

India tour of England 2014: Figures demonstrate why the Lord’s win is special

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

India tour of England 2014: Graeme Swann requests Alastair Cook to break routine

John Abraham to clash with Aamir Khan at the box office this December!

New video game calms down angry kids

Mithun Chakraborty first actor to be cast in Yagavarayinum Naa Kakka!

11 things to know before Commonwealth Games 2014 kicks-off: A walk down the memory lane of CWG!

Microsoft unifying Windows for all devices

Salman Khan vs Hrithik Roshan; Will ‘Bang Bang’ ‘Kick’ the box-office records?

Stuart Binny and the selection conundrum for India’s third Test against England at Southampton

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here