IPL 2013: Gautam Gambhir defends Yusuf Pathan, says entire KKR team at fault

Admitting that KKR are in a tight corner, Gautam Gambhir said they need to play good cricket to survive © IANS

Raipur: Apr 30, 2013
Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir defended an out-of-sorts Yusuf Pathan, stating it’s not only about him but the form of the whole team that is a concern ahead of the Indian Premier League match against Delhi Daredevils, here tomorrow.

“I don’t think his performance is frustrating,” Gambhir replied when asked to comment about the all-rounder who has scored only 108 runs in nine games.

“KKR is not only about Yusuf Pathan and my concern is the form of the whole team. In a long tournament like the IPL, you will find that there will be some players who would hit form during the initial phases while there will be some, who make a comeback during the last phase.

“It’s a matter of one over or a wicket. Myself and the entire team management has a lot of faith and trust in him [Yusuf],” Gambhir gave a terse reply.

The pitch at the Shaheed Veer Narayan International Stadium here has a decent carry but the skipper didn’t let his guard down when asked about Brett Lee’s possible inclusion.

“Let me tell you that the best XI will be playing for KKR and if Brett Lee fits in that XI, he will play,” was another typical Gambhir answer.

About the injury problems, Gambhir informed that the two ‘Ryans’ — Mclaren and Ten Doeschate — are down with flu and hamstring problems respectively. And both are unlikely to feature among the four foreigners.

Gambhir however did admit that they are in a tight corner and need to play good cricket in order to survive.

“After Chennai game, I came to know that we need to win at least five out of our seven remaining matches in order to qualify. We need to play some good cricket consistently which we haven’t been doing.

“We don’t want to be in Delhi’s situation where you need to win all the matches. As a captain, this is a challenging situation where I have to work in lifting the collective performance of my team as well as focus on my own game.”
Gambhir didn’t seem pretty pleased when someone asked him about the strategy to counter David Warner.

“In cricket, if you plan too much, it might not work that way. I also don’t believe in planning about individuals. It’s the team that needs to play well. Just like us, Daredevils will also start from zero.”

Asked about whether the owners have a specific say in cricketing matters, Gambhir replied, “I can say about our team. All the cricketing decisions are taken by me and the coach.”

Gambhir did concede that bowlers have become smarter in T20 format, and that has been evident during this season.

“Bowlers have indeed become smarter and have devised new tactics to get the batsmen out. Now it’s the duty of the batsmen to find out new ways of scoring runs,” he concluded.