Bangalore: In the last edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) lost both their matches — home and away — to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The architect of both the victories was the explosive West Indian batsman Chris Gayle. He became a nightmare for the KKR bowlers as he battered them all over the park.
Come Tuesday, when the two sides face each other at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, RCB are likely to unleash the Gayle-storm yet again on KKR.
Skipper Daniel Vettori, at the media conference on Monday, hinted that Gayle, who missed the side’s first match against Delhi DareDevils, could be back in the first XI on Tuesday.
The following are excerpts
On Gayle’s chances of playing
I can’t say anything at the moment but he has a good chance of playing. He looked confident in the practice today. He was running well and looked comfortable while batting... Things do look good for him.
On the selection of the foreigners
That is one aspect we have to look into. Even (Tillekaratne) Dilshan is back in the squad. It would be tough to drop Andrew McDonald after his performance in the last match.
We have a whole lot of good players, who are eager to perform. This is going to be a great season for us.
On Muttiah Muralidharan
He is still a great performer and perhaps the best strike bowler of our side. Murali is a kind of bowler who can take wickets and also control the flow of runs. He simply did a great job against Delhi DareDevils.
On bowling alongside Murali
It was a great feeling but this was not the first time we played together in a team. A few years ago, Murali and I was in the same team during the world series and that was the time when I realised how big a bowler he is.
I think they are a balanced side. You cannot take them lightly just because they lost two matches. The team have some fine batsmen like (Gautam) Gambhir, Jacques Kallis and Brendon McCullum...
On plans to contain McCullum
I know how destructive McCullum can be. We have to see to it that McCullum is kept under control. He is incredibly dangerous and once he gets going, he has the ability to take the match away from us quickly.
On the wicket
Last year, it was a two-paced wicket. I think they have prepared a good wicket for batting this time. The bowlers need to have skills to pick up wickets.