Calcutta: A beaming Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan can’t stop praising his team’s captain Gautam Gambhir as he feels the batsman has lifted the side magnificently after three seasons of incessant controversies.
The left-handed opener has led by example, being the leading scorer for the Knight Riders this season with 421 runs.
On Saturday, in their match against the Sourav Ganguly-led Pune Warriors, it was no different as Gambhir’s 36-ball 56, his third half-century from as many matches, set the platform in their seven-run victory.
“In my eyes, he is genuinely the finest captain that I have seen. Yes, I have seen most of them from outside. I am a cricket follower. But leading from the front and the way he talks to the boys, I think he is the most awesome captain.
“Apart from that he is a gentleman — a really genuine gentleman. I very seldom get impressed by leaders, but I am very impressed by Gautam Gambhir,” SRK said after their win .
KKR were controversy-ridden in the first three seasons and Gambhir has done a great job in motivating the side, the Bollywood star said.
“For a team which has been so full of controversy for no choice of ours for the last four years... For him to come and be so full of grit and determination... To prove himself to be a Calcutta boy... is a great thing.”
“This is not to take anything away from the importance of other players and captains, but Gambhir has done awesome coming into a franchise, which is owned by a movie star, which causes people to look at it (the franchise) more astutely...”
Firmly placed at number two on the table, the Bollywood heartthrob credited the success to the people of the city and state for showering love on the team from Calcutta.
“For a team, which hadn’t been doing well, I think most of the time we do well now is because of the encouragement that people of Calcutta and Bengal have shown us,” he said.
SRK hoped that the resilience would pay off this time.
“When I think of KKR, the one thing I tell them is that we should try the best and leave the rest. That is the main thing in life. And we have been going on for four-five years now and we have been gritty about the whole thing. So hopefully, the resilience will pay off.”