Our next match against Pune not Ganguly: Gambhir
Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir on Saturday said it would not be a battle against former captain Sourav Ganguly but the whole team when they face Pune Warriors India in their next Indian Premier League match at Navi Mumbai on May 19.
After being ignored at the players` auctions earlier this year, Ganguly was picked up by Pune as a replacement for an injured Ashish Nehra.
Gambhir said it would not be a battle against any individual and the team will look to come out with a win.
"Whenever we play against Pune, we are against Pune not Sourav. Whosoever playing for them has no relevance for us. Whenever we play Pune, it`s KKR vs Pune and not Sourav vs KKR. As professional cricketers, we are going to play hard cricket and get the results in our favour, that is what we are looking to do in all the coming games," said Gambhir.
After completing a 10-run win over defending champions Chennai Super Kings via Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-interrupted match at Eden Gardens here today, Gambhir gave full credit to his bowlers for restricting the opponents to 114 for four in 20 overs.
Brett Lee (4-0-8-0) and Iqbal Abdulla (4-0-15-1) utilized the slow nature of the wicket exceptionally well to restrict Chennai to a modest total. Abdulla was later adjudged the man of the match.
"Lee is a professional cricketer. He is one of the best fast bowlers in the world. These are what the champions are made of. If they had a bad game, they will definitely come back harder.”
"This is what Lee has shown. I think a lot of young guys can learn a lot from Lee`s commitment and the way he bowled today. Especially on this wicket where it helped spinners. Youngsters can learn from him on how to fight back stronger," said the skipper.
"It (win) was very important for us. We were knocking the door and we are still one game away from reaching the top 4. This game was very important. The entire credit goes to the bowling department."
Asked about the pitch, Gambhir said: "It was a slow wicket. That`s what always been in Kolkata and that has been our strength as well. You can say that is our home advantage. It was a decent wicket to bat on. A lot of credit to bowlers to restrict Chennai Super Kings to 114."
Gambhir said they were just one game away from reaching the top-four and making the play-offs, which is their main target.
"We are still one game away from top four. First aim is to reach top four and then take it from here. Every game is very important for us."
Asked whether it was a revenge match to their two-run defeat in the first leg of the tournament, Gambhir said, "That was history. We have come a long way from there. We have learnt from our mistakes. We never thought that we lost to Chennai in their home ground so we never thought of revenge. We had our own game plan and we stuck to that."
"It`s all about a complete team effort and not only just middle-order. Everyone has their own roles. Cricket is not an individual game, it`s a team game. you need to work as a team and results will come in your favour."
Gambhir hoped that their latest recruit South African wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher, who has joined the team as a replacement for injured Brad Haddin, will get to perform with the bat soon.
"He is an experienced player. He has not yet got enough opportunities with the bat. Hopefully he will deliver with the bat as well."