Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir on Saturday said city boy Sourav Ganguly had done immense to get the rousing support against the home team at the Eden Gardens, but the case would not be the same when he leads KKR at his home ground in Delhi in their next match on May 7.
It was not a happy homecoming for Ganguly as Pune slumped to their fifth consecutive defeat in the ongoing Indian Premier League after losing by seven runs to KKR in a thrilling match.
There was support for both the teams but the crowd was seen cheering more for Pune with Ganguly leading the side. "Sourav Ganguly is a true legend of the game. The amount of things he has done for India and Bengal is tremendous. We always knew it would be like an away game for us," Gambhir said at the post-match media interaction.
Gambhir would face a similar situation when he goes to Delhi to take on Virender Sehwag-led Delhi Daredevils in their next match on May 7, but the southpaw said he has done not enough to generate a Sourav-like interest there.
"I`ve not done enough for Delhi to be honest. I`ve not done so much. I think 90 percent of the crowd will be supporting Delhi Daredevils," he said.
It was a mixed crowd at the Eden Gardens today as they cheered for both the teams and even shouted `KKR, KKR` when Ganguly got out for 36.
Gambhir said he was happy to see that crowd backing KKR despite having Sourav in the opponent`s camp.
"Today it was like 50-50. I`ve not done enough to pull the crowd in my favour. I was not surprised when Sourav got the amount of support here.
"But it was not only about Pune, the kind of support KKR got was tremendous. Hopefully when people go back they should be happy because KKR is Kolkata`s team. They should be happy and content with the result," he said. Gambhir was seen celebrating the win loudly, showing a lot of aggression and the skipper blamed the media for creating the hype surrounding the match.
"Sometimes it happens in the heat of the moment. The media has created a lot of hype. It makes individual think about the importance of the game," he said referring to his winning exult.
"As I`ve always mentioned it was just a game of cricket for me. But with the crowd support for both the teams, it just happened. We are pretty happy."
"We should be thankful to the people of Kolkata that despite Sourav playing in the opponent`s team there was a lot of support for us. They backed us throughout," he added.
At the same time Gambhir blasted KKR batsmen for failing yet another time as they collapsed to 150 for five after being comfortably placed at 113 for one in the 13th over.
"We messed it up big time. Guys in the batting department need to pull up their socks. They just cant let go these sort of starts. You can`t let go a start when you have 113 in the first 13 overs. When you have got the platform, you need to capitalise on that. Hope they would learn from their mistakes with some tough games coming up."
"I still feel that with the kind of start we got we could have easily got to 170. You can`t just keep letting the opposition back in the game. It was a below par total. This could have been chased," he said.
But Gambhir was happy with the momentum his side has got after registering their fifth win in succession that placed them firmly at the second place, one point shy of leaders Delhi, in the points table. Giving credit to the support staff, Gambhir said: "KKR is about all of us sitting in the dressing room. 30 of us including the support staff. They have been the unsong heroes. They have been pretty hard working. From physios to masseurs, they are playing a huge role in our successess.
"I am someone who hates being complacent. We have five more games to go. We cannot sit back on our laurels. We hope to learn from today`s mistakes."
About the newfound consistency in the side, Gambhir said: "One or two individuals cant make the diffrence. It`s the entire team effort.
"The kind of support we have got from everyone, from the support staff to the people of Kolkata has been immense. Wherever you go, they just admire KKR. Since last year, we are playing some good cricket. We hope that we can bring back the joy to the people."
Giving credit to Marchant de Lange for his 3/34, Gambhir said: "The way Marchant bowled, playing in his second game in front of a boisterous crowd, is tremendous.
"He held his nerves and those two wickets got us back into the game. Sunil is bowling brilliantly hope he continues with the same way."
Gambhir, who scored a fine 36-ball 56, his third consecutive half century, hoped to continue with his fine run.
"I was pretty fortunate that I got to bat first against the new ball and it came on nicely to the bat. It`s difficult for the people who come in to play with the same momentum when the ball was gripping."