Even though Kolkata Knight Riders are placed seventh in the points table,Gautam Gambhir is hopeful his side will make the cut for the playoff stage. On the eve of his side’s tie against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede,the KKR skipper talks about his team’s chances in IPL VI,Yusuf Pathan’s poor form and his exclusion from the Champions Trophy side. Excerpts from a media interaction:.
On KKRs chance to advance in play-offs
We are very much in the competition,we are very much in the race as well. There have been lot of people who have been saying that we need to win five out five and stuff but we have seen in the last couple the fourth team has always been the one which has eight games. I am not thinking of the play offs to be honest,but we are very much in the game. I have not heard from anyone that we are out of the competition,we are still in it.
On playing three spinners at Wankhede
I have not see the wicket yet but looking from outside and whatever games have been played,whatever has happened here obviously the fast bowlers have been most successful because of the bounce and sometimes you get a little bit of swing little in the evening as well. One thing I always maintain is that when you got quality,you have got quality. They are both quality spinners and they dont require surfaces. When you have got too many things up your sleeve you dont require surfaces,they both have lot of varations,so you never know we might end up picking two spinners. Last time around I remember that we played three spinners and they were successful as well in defending around 137.
On Yusuf Pathan’s form
T20 is such a format that no one is in form and no one is out of form as well. Sometimes there are situations when you are chasing 200 in 20 overs or 180 in 20 overs and you got to start from the word go and then there is a situation when you have to score 25 from two overs and you have to hit from ball one. So in a T20 format you cannot the players are in form or out of form,I know in India it happens that someone who doesnt score runs in T20 they say he is out of form and someone who scores they is in form. For me T20 is such a format where small contributions make a huge difference and small contributions will end up winning you games. Someone in the lower order will have to chase 20 in two overs something like Stuart Binny did yesterday,those kind of contributions usually make a huge difference.
On Jacques Kallis,strike rate
We are absolutely fine with it. We have got all kinds of players,we have people like Yusuf and Brendon (McCullum) who thrive on strike rates,who have got a strike rate in excess of 130 or 140 so we need someone who can anchor the innings as well and he has been the master at doing this. So we have picked our squad thinking of those lines rather than asking him to change their game. I think it is important that people go out there and play their own game rather than changing it according to the format because all of us are experienced cricketers and we know when to increase strike rate and stuff like that. When you are chasing a target of around 130-140 you need someone whom the team can bat around and Jacques does that successfully for us and we dont want him to change his game.
On his exlusion from Champions Trophy squad
I dont get surprised,I dont get irritated as well. I always maintain one thing that my job is to go out there and score runs. The selectors are out there do their job and my job is to go out and score runs whether I play for KKR,whether I play for India or whether I play for Delhi. My biggest happiness comes from how I perform on the cricket field and no on what happens outside the cricket field. For me,those things are not in my hand and I dont even want to think about it. I dont get surprised at all,I dont get disappointed at all to be honest because my job is to go out there and keep scoring runs because that is why I started playing this game of cricket for and till the time I play this game that will be my absolutely concentrate to do that and that is to go out and keep scoring runs irrespective of which team I play for.
On former KKR skipper Sourav Gangulys comment that its tough to lead IPL side
That is Souravs take on it; I dont know where he is coming from. For me,Shah Rukh,all the owners and the entire support staff have been very supportive. Nothing from their side,they have given me all the responsibility. Whatever is happening in KKR or whatever has happened in the last three years from the cricketing point of view has been my decisions. I know where Sourav is coming from,if he though it was tough to captain the IPL side that is his take. It has been an hour captaining the KKR,it has been honour working with people like Shah Rukh and Jai,they have been very professional like they have been in their own field. They have left the cricketing decisions to me and all the decisions I have taken in the last three years have been my decisions. It has been easy for me from the owners point of view. From the cricketing point of view obviously it is tough to captain any IPL side because the pressure is on you because you are answerable to everyone,you are answerable to the owners and if you cant do that then you should not be the captain. I am honest with that if the team doesnt do well then I am answerable to the owners but till now they have been very professional and I am really,really lucky to have owners like them because there has been no involvement from them,I dont know about Sourav to be honest.