Shubman Gill © IANS
Shubman Gill © IANS

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were 24 for 3 in the fourth over against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the IPL 2018 Eliminator at Eden Gardens when Dinesh Karthik walked out to bat. They soon lost Chris Lynn, in the eighth over, with the score reading 51 for 4. The need of the hour was partnerships. Shubman Gill, still a teenager, showed enough maturity in the middle, weaving a 38-ball 55-run stand for the fifth wicket with captain Karthik. The partnership laid foundation for Andre Russell to launch an onslaught to muscle KKR to 169 for 7 in 20 overs and pull off a 25-run win.

Karthik praised Gill for the latter’s ability to absorb pressure: ”I think winning 4 games on the row feels good. Especially this one as we were under the pump. Credit to Shubman Gill. Absorbed all the pressure when he walked in. Before he got out, he played some lovely shots and eased the pressure off me. In these games, it is about the attitude and the belief about how much you have got.” Gill was dismissed caught-behind off Jofra Archer for a 17-ball 28.

Karthik also praised the team’s bowling and fielding that helped them come back from behind: ”In these kind of crunch games, it is never about the par score; it’s about how much pressure you can put on the other side. Touch wood, the bowlers have picked up their game. We fielded well as well today, which was good to see.”

Karthik’s side will be up against Kane Williamson’s Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Friday at the same venue. KKR do have the home advantage but earlier this season, SRH beat the hosts at the same venue.