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IPL 7: Gautam Gambhir was confident Kolkata Knight Riders turn around their fortunes

Gautam Gambhir has lead KKR well in the IPL © IANS
Gautam Gambhir has been the captain of KKR since 2012 © IANS

May 28, 2014

Gautam Gambhir, the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 believes his team took time to make an impact, but after the few games things have turned around for his team and have found themselves in a great position to win their second title.

“I think the most important thing was that we knew we had the side to turn things around. Especially after the first seven games, I don’t think a lot of people must have believed that we would finish in the top two.

“But I believe in the kind of individuals there were in the dressing room. Given the strong individuals and the kind of talent that we had, it was just a matter of time we made an impact. Even in the first seven games, if you see them, most of the games that we lost we should have actually won; especially against Kings XI Punjab [KXIP], where we couldn’t chase 132, and even the one against Rajasthan Royals [RR].

“So, I knew that we were always there in the mix; it was just that we never crossed the line. The most positive thing that happened in the first seven games was that we were never outplayed by any of the opponents. So, I think it was just a matter of time that we would start winning. Obviously, it would give us a lot of confidence and that started from the win against Delhi Daredevils [DD] in Delhi.” he said in an interview with iplt20.com

The Kolkata team always had a strong bowling line-up and this time, Sunil Narine and Morne Morkel have lead their sides bowling. He will banking on them to stop the hard-hitting Punjab batsmen. When asked on how he plans to use their overs up, he said, “That was always that thought when we got into the auction because we always wanted someone to complement Sunil. If you have a quality attack around Sunil, it makes him even more effective. You don’t want Sunil to be singled out all the time.

“The teams are thinking that we just need to see Sunil through for four overs and we can attack the other 16 overs. So, the thought was that we need a lot of firepower that can bowl around Sunil. He has been our key bowler and our bowling attack revolves around him, but having someone like a Morne Morkel with that kind of pace and bounce just gives us that extra edge up front. And it has always been someone like Morkel or Pat Cummins or for that matter even Umesh Yadav who gives us that firepower.

“Someone bowling at 145 kph is always a luxury for any captain. It lets you hit the opposition really hard up front. And then, they are backed by someone like Sunil Narine and Shakib Al Hasan as well.

“People keep talking about Sunil a lot, but if you see the kind of spells that Shakib has bowled in this tournament, they are good. He has gone unnoticed, but I think he has been a real game changer from the bowling and batting point of view.” he added.

Gambhir feels his team needs to work on a lot of things and no room can be given to a team like Punjab who finished on the top of the table and lost only three games out off 14.

“There is still a lot to work on. If you see, in the last game, we didn’t start off that well. The intensity was low. I think we were not disciplined enough in our bowling as well. We really lacked in our fielding too.

“When you get into an important phase like the Playoffs, you need to be up for it because we are going to be up against an opposition like Kings XI Punjab, and you can’t end up giving them any room. It is okay if they play some good cricket, fair enough. But you can’t end up giving them that edge. If you give a quality opposition an edge, they will try and get on top of you. And we still need to be ready and be disciplined in all three departments, whether we bat first or field first.”

“Somewhere in our last game, I think we were not up for it, especially in our bowling and fielding departments, and hopefully, we can try and rectify that tomorrow.” he concluded.

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