Ranchi/Calcutta: With Kolkata Knight Riders slumping to their fourth loss in the IPL VII, in six matches, captain Gautam Gambhir could only say that though they have a talented side, they have not really clicked as a team in the championship so far.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni made his homecoming memorable, guiding Chennai Super Kings to a 34-run victory at Ranchi on Friday. Being his home town, the CSK captain must have been happy to begin the India leg of the IPL VII with a victory in front of his home crowd. He added that he had full faith in the abilities of his teammates.
Ravindra Jadeja, who earned himself the Man of the Match award scalping four wickets for only 12 runs, was happy with his performance.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni: I am happy with the performance. I think we have a balanced side and everyone wants to contribute to the team’s cause. We haven’t tinkered much with our playing XI… I have full faith in the guys and in their abilities.
The guys are performing well and overall, I am quite satisfied. Am glad I am getting runs with that shot (referring to his powerful bottom-handed strokes).
It is the demand of this format in which we need to keep improvising. It is a constant process… The bowlers have their own plans and will not make your life easier. So, a batsman needs to formulate a plan to score runs. They have to improvise and can’t play into the bowlers’ hands.
When there is turn in the wicket, Suresh Raina can prove to be quite useful… If it is a seaming wicket, then Dwayne Smith can come quite handy. Overall, the squad looks balanced.
There are no injuries in the side… Only Ashish Nehra is unfit. Hopefully he becomes fit soon.
Gautam Gambhir: We are a talented side, but we haven’t clicked as a team in this tournament so far. There have been times when the bowling has clicked, some times the batting has. But we need the side to perform as a unit.
My run-out was because of a rush of blood. I can't say much more than that. We know we have to start winning matches. But we did get a few positives from this match. Our top order now looks a bit settled. (Robin) Uthappa looks settled as an opener. Another huge plus for us is to see Yusuf Pathan striking the ball well. Those were heartening signs. Then we have Sunil Narine who always does well with the ball.
There’s a lot of quality in the dressing room and we know we will get back to winning ways soon. We had won seven matches in a row in 2012 — the season when we won the title. Hopefully we will be able to replicate that.
Ravindra Jadeja (MoM): I am happy with my performance and to be adjudged Man of the Match. But I have come up with such performances before. When I came in to bat, the team needed runs and I managed to contribute a few.
I knew the ball would turn more in the second innings. I was enjoying my bowling. I knew I had to finish the game.
Dhoni asked me to keep it simple. He just asked me to take wickets and control the run flow. I played under Shane Warne in Rajasthan Royals. The two captains have a similarity. They are positive and never discourage a player. They take all the decision with a positive mindset.
Robin Uthappa: The match was lost in the first few overs. While chasing such a total, we lost two-three quick wickets. That was the time when we lost the momentum. We could not recover.
The wicket was still dry. The bowlers had their advantage. They could grip the ball, there was lateral movement and good bounce. At the same time, it was also good for batsmen. But we could not bat.