Mumbai: Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir saluted the fighting spirit of his side, which finished fourth in the ongoing fourth edition of the IPL after losing the Eliminator match to Mumbai Indians on Wednesday.
Kolkata were placed seventh in the table in the last edition and Gambhir said the players showed a lot of fighting spirit throughout this season to progress to fourth position.
"We played some good cricket. Some of the games we could have won. The boys were professional and showed what character they are made off. Even today, Mumbai were cruising but the boys fought hard," Gambhir said after KKR`s four-wicket defeat.
Asked if he enjoyed leading the side, Gambhir said he had no problems whatsoever as he had good players to work with.
"Ryan played well. He is a fantastic guy and a fantastic cricketer. A captain is only as good as his team. There are no great captains and there will never be… with the fantastic bunch I didn`t have to captain," he said.
The KKR skipper said their next target is to qualify for the Champions League.
Mumbai were in a spot bother in their chase as they lost six wickets after being 81 for no loss at one stage but skipper Sachin Tendulkar said he was not worried.
"I thought we were very much in control. It was a fabulous start to the bowling and to the batting. Victory means a lot. In between we had a rough patch but there has been a good turn around in the last two games. That`s a right tonic for the team," he said.
Tendulkar was pleased with the fact that they found a good opener in Blizzard today since his previous partners could not much in the earlier matches.
"Fabulous start from Blizzard, something we needed today. Some big shots played by him. This was one of the very few good starts we had in entire tournament," he said.
Asked about players in his side who show a lot of emotions, Tendulkar said the game needs such characters.
Ambati Rayudu reacted with a wide open mouth when he was given out caught behind as he appeared to have not edged the ball off Jacques Kallis and Harbhajan Singh erupted into joy after hitting the winning six.
"Rayudu is a youngster and you let him react the way he does. He will mature. You just let him be. Harbhajan has always been aggressive. We have had characters in tennis like McEnroe... We need characters like that in cricket."
Man of the match is Munaf Patel, who took three wickets, said, "Bowling is going well. Body is also holding up despite playing so much. I am happy that team is doing well. These days I enjoy. I have learned to relax. Previously I used to put too much pressure on myself and had forgotten to smile."