IPL 2017: Gautam Gambhir asked us to show intent against RCB's batting line-up, says Chris Woakes

"Coulter-Nile and Umesh got to swing the ball up front. When I came on, it did not swing but a little bit of movement off the length. If you hit the areas, more often than not it puts the batsmen under pressure especially when wickets are falling around," Woakes said.

PTI| Last Updated: Apr 24, 2017, 11:48 AM IST
IPL 2017: Gautam Gambhir asked us to show intent against RCB's batting line-up, says Chris Woakes

Kolkata: Skipper Gautam Gambhir wanted his bowlers to show "intent and pride" which Chris Woakes feels went a long way in Kolkata Knight Riders dismissing RCB for 49 -- the lowest ever total in history of Indian Premier League.

"The captain asked us to show some intent and some pride. The opening bowlers set the tone for us. From there on, it was just trying to put the ball in right areas," the 28-year-old Woakes said after the match.

In an exceptional display of pace bowling up front, Nathan Coulter Nile (3-0-21-3) and Umesh Yadav (3-0-15-1) ripped apart the vaunted RCB top-order in Powerplay, before Woakes (2-0-6-3) and Colin de Grandhomme (1.4-0-4-3) sealed the issue.

Woakes said the strategy was to hit the top of the off- stump.

"Coulter-Nile and Umesh got to swing the ball up front. When I came on, it did not swing but a little bit of movement off the length. If you hit the areas, more often than not it puts the batsmen under pressure especially when wickets are falling around," Woakes said.

Woakes termed the Eden Gardens strip as a nice one.

"The wicket was nice to bowl on. At the Eden Gardens, if you are off the area, you get punished because the outfield is quick. It actually is a good batting surface. As we have seen in previous games, 180 is par which is a good T20 score. But we bowled quite well on that pitch," he said.

He admitted that at the break, it wasn't like the team was supremely confident.

"I think I would be lying to say that we came at the half time saying that we would definitely win the game. Not often you defend 130 particularly here at Eden Gardens," Woakes said.

None of RCB's batters could reach a double digit as their respective runs resembled a mobile number -- 70189820250 -- to succumb to 10th overall lowest in T20s. KKR's defence of 131 (or under) was also only the 10th time in IPL history.

"We speak about their batting line-up, three in particular are world class. We had a high price on their wickets. The fact that we got those three early (Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle), it really made a big difference in us defending the total."

Woakes also commended the RCB bowlers for doing a good job.

"Obviously we were little bit down halfway. We were under-par, and thought 160-170 was probably par on that wicket. We obviously did not bat very well but they also did not bat well. At the same time we bowled well. Sometime you have to just doff your hat to some good bowling."

Asked if it was anything to do with the wicket, Woakes said: "I am not too sure. We got off to a good start. We were 87 after 10 overs. It proved that it actually was a decent wicket."

"We lost wickets through the middle which in a T20 game is always quite crucial. If we take wickets, it's always hard to get going again," he said.

Woakes felt that it was a good toss won by Kohli as the good batting surface at the Eden normally prompts opposition captains to opt for chasing.

"It was a good toss to win (for RCB). We actually were looking to bowl first. In general, we like to chase on this ground. It usually is a good batting surface, the outfield is quick and you can always chase down almost any target," Woakes concluded.