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SRK too deserves this win: Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir keeps an eye on the Duckworth-Lewis equation after rain threatened to ruin the match at the Eden, on Wednesday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta: Gautam Gambhir isn’t thinking about the final yet. He wants to live in the present.

“Honestly, I am still not thinking about the final... It’s still a few days away,” he said when asked about his plans for the final.

Kolkata Knight Riders walloped Kings XI Punjab to make their second entry into the IPL final.

The Kolkata Knight Riders captain didn’t forget to thank the Eden Gardens crowd.

“We just did a lap of honour because we received tremendous support from the Eden crowd and we cannot thank them enough. As much as we deserve the victory today, they also deserve a lot of credit for coming out in numbers and supporting us.”

Gambhir felt principal owner Shah Rukh Khan too deserved some credit for their triumph.

“Shah Rukh Khan, too, deserves this win. He has gone through a lot of lows as well… So he should be happy with our performance. He deserves every bit of our eight-match winning streak.”

Gambhir wasn’t unhappy after being put into bat. “Personally, I would have liked to chase because we have been quite successful in chasing down totals. But then, I was not unhappy either when George Bailey asked us to bat.

“We knew we had plenty of good batsmen in our ranks who can post a decent total. In the end, the batsmen did perform their responsibilities brilliantly.”

Gambhir didn’t wish to read much about his comeback into the India squad for the Test series in England.

“I wasn’t thinking too much about my comeback to the Indian team. I was focused on this match because it was a very important game for us and a lot was at stake. It is really important for a sportsman to stay in the present and I was trying to do the same.”

For Umesh Yadav, concentrating on the basics has helped him improve as a bowler. The three for 13 off his four overs earned him the Man of the Match award on Wednesday. Dismissing Virender Sehwag in the second over of the innings set the momentum for the Knight Riders and they never looked back.

“We had thought about getting him in the beginning, because whatever pressure would be created, it would have been created by Viru paaji. He is an experienced opening batsman and can score briskly. If he plays out the new ball, it becomes easier for the batsmen coming in later. His was a huge wicket for us,” Umesh told the IPL’s official website.

“As such, I had planned on just concentrating on the basics. I was just focusing on bowling the right line and length. If I swing the ball, it will be difficult for him to play... I had the chance, so I just worked on bowling my best, and my length was perfect.”

Umesh said the plan against Glenn Maxwell worked well. “He’s a big-hitting batsman… So, I had decided that I will not bowl in the areas where he can hit easily.

“I was varying my deliveries. I tried a few things and eventually got his wicket. Facing a few dot-balls and not getting to hit the way he likes frustrated him and I got the wicket,” explained Umesh.

He’s obviously happy with his bowling. “I am getting back my rhythm. I am enjoying bowling.”

Piyush Chawla thinks going into the match with five specialist bowlers made a big difference to their fortunes. “Most of the teams go with four main bowlers and one part-timer, but we go in with five main bowlers which makes a huge difference,” Chawla said.

“Obviously people say T20 is about the batsmen, but even if you put on 250 on the board and don’t have good bowlers, you can’t defend that. We have quality bowlers. The bunch is really good,” he added.