KKR will do well with Gambhir at helm, says Akram
Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders bowling consultant Wasim Akram hoped that the team would do well under new captain Gautam Gambhir and, it is time to look beyond local icon Sourav Ganguly.
"It`s time to move on. Har cheez ka ek time hota hai (There is time for everything)," Akram replied when asked about what will be the mindset of a team that won`t have the former India captain in its line-up.
"We have a new captain (Gambhir), we have a young side with different mindsets," Akram said.
The legendary Pakistani left-arm pacer, however, said there were no hard feelings for Ganguly.
"Sourav Ganguly is one of my very close friends and he is like family. We will miss him as a leader. But it`s time to move on," the 44-year-old said on the sidelines of KKR`s practice in the build up to the IPL opener against Chennai Super Kings on April 8.
Akram said the first goal was to make it to the semis and with India`s World Cup winning duo of Gautam Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan in the ranks, the side would be high on confidence.
"The aim is always to play in the final. We came sixth last year, but we played well, though we were a bit short on the run-rate. Things have improved. First goal is to qualify for the semi-finals and from there on we will see."
He said that the strength has bolstered due to the presence of Yusuf Pathan and Gautam Gambhir.
"The captain is the guy who is going to lead from the front. With all the World Cup success behind them, I`m sure it`s going to rub in on the players."
He said his job was to teach technicalities to bowlers as also about wrist positioning, the bounce, ball positioning and how to bowl.
"I really enjoyed my stint last year. The boys are very responsive. It`s a very good side. It`s an exciting time for me to build a new team for the IPL-4," he said.
The KKR bowling consultant said the team had pace attack to be led by Australian strike bowler Brett Lee.
"(James) Pattison is very sharp. Jaydev played for India last year. He is still very young. He has a bright future for him. We have Balaji, who is very experienced. Lee is the fastest bowler in the world. There was also another left-arm pacer in Pradeep Sangwan. Then there is local kid Sami Ahmed.
"I have heard a lot about Sami. It`s time to share my experiences with them and give something back to these youngsters."
Akram is also hopeful that Bangladesh captain Shakib-al Hassan and Jacques Kallis will prove to be useful with their all-round abilities.
"In T20, the more allrounders you have, the better it is. (Jacques) Kallis is there. Shakib al Hasan is one of the best players in one-day cricket. He can bowl with the new ball, he can open the innings as well as come at No 6. Shakib will be the first choice, but let him come back after this series (against Australia). I am very impressed with his performance over the past few years."
Stating that Lee and Shakib would make a difference, he said that there were also very good batsmen.
"Gautam as captain, Dav as coach, we have a good enough programme and are planning to do well in IPL IV."