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Brendon open to staying at helm

Durban: A happy Brendon McCullum faced the media for one last time in this edition, and said he wouldn’t mind being captain again, if asked.

The following are excerpts from the press conference

On the two teams struggling to score 100 runs

There was pressure on both sides. Also, we managed to bowl incredibly well. We used the short ball really well. It was a two-paced wicket. Our fielding was brilliant. Three run outs in a 20-over game is fantastic. To go there and chase a 100… well, there are two ways of doing it. You either chase it down in 10 or 11 overs with one or two down or we lose a couple of wickets and the opposition gets its tail up. That’s what happened. We were fortunate enough that a couple of the Indian players stood up and took the game in their hands. The way (Laxmi Ratan) Shukla played was fantastic and Ajit (Agarkar) showed that his experience was crucial. He guided Shukla in the end.

If he regrets not playing Charl Langeveldt earlier

There was never any doubt that Charl would do a good job for us. He is a quality bowler and we saw today what he is capable of. There was nothing against Charl. It was just the unfortunate nature of us not being able to get enough runs throughout the tournament that saw us persevere with our international batsmen. When we are allowed four international players, it’s always going to be hard to find the right balance. (Ajantha) Mendis is another one… we would have liked to play him more. Charl was unlucky. He has worked really hard with the young Indian bowlers. He has taught them a lot in a short span of time... Today was fantastic and I am sure the rest of the team also enjoyed this success.

Victory in the last two matches

What we have seen in the last couple of weeks from our team is unbelievable. The way we have managed to continually come back after tough losses, heartbreaking losses, is testament to how much these guys truly believe in this team. From what I have seen, I am certainly encouraged by it.

On talk that the Knight Riders support staff would be resigning

I haven’t heard anything to do with that, to be honest. We have all been trying to achieve what we have been aiming for throughout the tournament. Everyone’s been totally committed to doing what we possibly can. We haven’t performed as well as we would have liked to in terms of the win-loss ratio and a shot at the semi-final, but we have played some great cricket in the tournament. In another year, on another day, we might have performed better.

On Shah Rukh Khan’s message

He’s been completely positive throughout. He has been encouraging. He has been fantastic. We couldn’t have asked for a better owner than Shah Rukh.

His captaincy stint

A couple of weeks ago, I might have said ‘no’ (laughs). It’s been a hell of a ride. Coming into the tournament you wouldn’t have wished for the worst of your enemies the ride we’ve had. From the captain’s perspective I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Even the tough times have been great. It is during the tough times when you see what the players are capable of. We didn’t turn around as quickly as we would have liked to. We bounced back towards the end. I enjoyed every minute, good and bad, of the IPL.

If he would captain the Knight Riders next year

Plenty of things will happen before that... To an extent, I have had some of the guys come to me and say that they want me to stand and fight. Who will be the captain next year needs to be decided in the next tournament. If my players want me to be the captain, and the people who make the decisions want me to be the captain then, I will be doing them an injustice by refusing.

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