Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir took a dig at Kings XI Punjab skipper Adam Gilchrist for his comments that the Eden Gardens pitch was a difficult one, saying that the visiting side lost the IPL match as they did not bat well.
Gilchrist said at the post-match presentation that the wicket was turning and difficult to bat against quick bowlers when KXIP batted first in the match, but Gambhir disagreed with it.
"If it`s difficult then people will stop playing here. We chased 120 in 17.2 overs. If they think it`s difficult, I can`t comment much on it. The ball was gripping otherwise it was not all that dangerous. The opposition needs to bat well," Gambhir said at the post-match press conference after his side won by eight wickets.
KKR jumped to the top spot with today`s win over Kings XI Punjab and Gambhir said he was least concerned about his side`s forgettable past history in the last three seasons of the Indian Premier League.
"History is history. I don`t believe in history, I don`t believe in the past. I only believe in one thing that is present. Neither do I believe in future," he said at the post-match press conference.
"Personally I only concentrate on the present game. Past is past. It does not mean what happened in past will happen in present as well," he said.
On the top spot with 10 points after eight matches, KKR now have a chance of reaching the play-offs which will be a first for them in the IPL but Gambhir said he would not believe it till they get there.
"I always believe getting momentum back was very difficult especially after losing two games in a row. We got the momentum back, now we want to play some good cricket. That is very important for us. Till the time you have not reached last you have not reached," he said.
"You are never there till the time you are not there. For me, it has no relevance in life (to look too far). Whether we reached play offs or not, every game is important for me. We are not going to take any game lightly."
Heaping praise on Manoj Tiwary who made 34 not out today and now averaged 114 with an aggregate of 228 runs after eight matches, Gambhir said the stylish Bengal skipper has matured as a player.
"He is in very good nick. The most important thing when you are in good form is you need to continue and that`s what he is doing. This is a sign of a mature player. Sometime what happens when the maturity is not there you end of losing form playing bad shots," said Gambhir.
"He knows the value of being in good form. It just takes one or two innings to lose your form. He has matured as a player. Hope he gets many more in coming games as well," he said.
Gambhir also showered praise on the bowlers who did well to restrict Kings XI Punjab to 119 for six.
"Defending 148 in Delhi was a tremendous effort by bowlers. It showed the strength of bowlers against Delhi who had a lot of depth. Bowling is something it`s very important in T20 game."
He said dropping Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan today was a difficult decision.
"Whatever we felt the best combination we are playing with that. In that case if we feel Shakib does not get included in playing XI then he will get a chance somewhere down the line. Leaving a quality player is always difficult," he said.
Gambhir said the inclusion of South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher gives his side a lot of option ahead of their away match against Deccan Chargers on May 3.
"Mark Boucher is someone who can give us a lot of options. We can make him bat up the order, he can be a good finisher as well and he is a very good wicketkeeper as well.
"He has a lot of international experience under him. He also has the experience of IPL. Let`s see we have got another two days to go. Whatever is the best playing XI we are going to try them out."