Calcutta: By his own admission, Gautam Gambhir is not bothered by the hype and excitement surrounding Saturday’s match against the Pune Warriors. For him, it’s just another game.
“For me it’s just another game of cricket. To win you need to play well on that given day. You need to be up for it… We’ll approach it the same way as we’ve approached the other games. If we play to our potential, we’ve got a lot of quality in our dressing room…” the Kolkata Knight Riders captain said on Friday.
“If we play that way, we’ll be a team to beat in this tournament. Hopefully, we should be 100 per cent ready to go and fire whatever we do first tomorrow…”
Gambhir is not reading much into the Sourav Ganguly factor. “Sourav is an individual… We play against the Pune Warriors and not against Sourav Ganguly…
“Whoever Calcutta wants to supports they can do, but I’ve always maintained that KKR belongs to Calcutta and not any other team. We play for the pride of Calcutta and we’ll do it whether we get the support or not. We go out there to make people happy and give joy to them and we will do that tomorrow and in the near future…”
Will Sourav’s inconsistent form be an advantage? “As I said, we don’t play against individuals, we play against the Pune Warriors. If one or two individual is struggling that doesn’t make any side less strong…
“There are 11 players and any one of them can fire with the ball or bat and win the game for them. It’s about 11 players contributing and that’s how matches are won,” Gambhir explained.
That the Pune Warriors have lost four matches in a row is hardly making him breathe easy. “That doesn’t make a difference. Twenty20 is such a format that you can lose eight games in a row and then win the next eight… One or two individuals can turn the fortunes… For us, we need to do well and concentrate of what we’re doing.”
Comparisons to Saturday’s encounter have been drawn with an India-Pakistan clash, but Gambhir says it’s an individual’s view.
“That’s an individual’s view of looking at things. For me, it’s another game of cricket and there’s nothing like India and Pakistan. We play against the Pune Warriors. India-Pakistan is a different ball game… It’s just the media that has been creating this hype…”
He is happy with the bowlers’ performance on the Eden wicket. “It’s not only about spinners... Even Kallis, in the last game we played here, got two for 20… There’s something for the fast bowlers as well on this wicket… Everyone’s has done a great job. It’s not only the bowling department…
“To win a game, you need to fire in all the three departments. We’ve been fielding brilliantly and have batted well… But there’s still a lot of games to go and we can maintain the good work and achieve the targets we’ve set for ourselves.”
Yusuf’s form has not been a concern for the Knight Riders and Gambhir reiterated it.
“Let’s not talk about individual performances... For us, individuals don’t make a huge difference… That is what KKR is all about…
“KKR is not about Gautam Gambhir or Yusuf Pathan or Jacques Kallis. It’s about what we’ve done as a team. I’m pretty happy about the performance till now and that’s what we’ll look forward to doing in future.”