KKR bowlers are learning a lot from Akram: Balaji

Wasim Akram has had a great influence on KKR bowlers, says Balaji

Kolkata: Apr 17, 2011

Man-of-the-match Laxmipathy Balaji, on Sunday gave credit to bowling coach Wasim Akram for his impressive three for 15 run spell against Rajasthan Royals, and said he and his fellow pace colleagues were learning a lot from the the iconic Pakistani bowler.

The former India seamer wrecked the Rajasthan batting line up to help Knight Riders bundle out the Jaipur side for a paltry 81 in 15.2 overs after sent into bat.

“We all know what is he (Akram) capable of. Definitely it’s an education for each and every member of the team. We all are learning every bit of what he does. Like how to attack and all. All these things are very important for a bowler.

The next generation of players will gain a lot (from him),” Balaji said of Akram.

With this win, the Knight Riders completed their second victory over Rajasthan in a period of three days to climb to the top of the IPL standings.

“It’s a process. It’s not over yet. We have still 10 more matches to go. It has to be planned like a ladder. We have to have a rhythm to go into the next level,” the lanky pacer insisted.

Balaji gave the first breakthrough to Knight Riders, cleaning up in-form Shane Watson with a classic outswinger and the former India seamer said it was a dream ball.

“It was a really good ball, something that I used to bowl some seven eight years ago. It was really thrilling to see the batsmen beaten. I would like to bowl similar bowls again and again,” he said.

“Watson was a very important wicket. We needed the wicket very badly in the first six overs. His breakthrough gave me an immense pleasure.” Balaji added.

Balaji said the Eden Gardens wicket today was on the slower side.

“It was a little bit on the slower side. But you can’t help conditions. Our batsmen really applied themselves well.

(Gautam) Gambhir, (Manoj) Tiwary and (Manvinder) Bisla played sensibly,” he said.

“There is a long way to go. We will just take match by match. We got to have a relaxed mind. We have got a good initiative,” Balaji said about their approach for the upcoming matches in the tournament.

Asked whether Knight Riders performances in the previous seasons affected the team in any ways, Balaji said, “It’s a completely new team with a new captain. We all get together very well and play as unit. It’s a new season, whatever happened in the past is history.”

News PTI

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