The Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir on Wednesday lauded teammates for showing a strong character after the Knights notched up their third win on the trot as they convincingly defeated the Mumbai Indians by six wickets, in Cuttack.
“It was a great win today. Winning three matches on the trot after losing four really shows the character of the team,” said Gambhir at the post-match presentation.
He also talked about how desperate the Knights were to return to winning ways after their four straight defeats early on in the tournament.
“We have some great individuals in our team and the guys were extremely pumped up to get the campaign back on track,” he said.
The KKR captain reserved special praise for in-form batsman Robin Uthappa and mystery spinner Sunil Narine.
Gautam Gambhir: It was a great win today. Winning three matches on the trot after losing four really shows the character of the team. We have some great individuals in our team and the guys were extremely pumped up to get the campaign back on track.
Once again Robin Uthappa played really well, but it was our bowlers who won us this match. Restricting them to 140 was fantastic.
We used Narine at the death and look how he did! What can I say about him... He is a mystery spinner. Perhaps he doesn’t have as many wickets to show for it, but he is someone who has always done well for us. We are really lucky to have him in our team.
Rohit Sharma: The wicket was doing a bit. It wasn’t an easy pitch to bat on. Having said that, 142 is too low a score to defend on this track. We were at least 15 runs short. We have to post totals in excess of 170 in order to get the results in our favour.
Lasith Malinga will leaving us now to join the Sri Lanka national team now. He will be missed, but we have a lot of talented players in our squad to take his place, like Josh Hazlewood, Marchant de Lange and Krishmar Santokie.
Robin Uthappa (MoM): On Tuesday, when we were practising, one ball from Pat Cummins hit me on my left toe. Hence, I am having a slight limp. But I am thankful to Andrew Leipus and other physios in the team for getting me ready for this match. They also gave a lot of protective gear inside my shoes. I have been batting well for quite some time now. I think I am playing with a lot more correct technique and with a straight bat.
Umesh Yadav: Lot of credit must go to Gambhir and Uthappa. They are the in-form opening pair and has contributed a lot to this victory. But it’s a team game. The full team has put in the effort and it’s showing… It’s true that Gambhir struggled a bit in the initial stages of the tournament. But he’s a class batsman and his confidence was always high. We knew it was a matter of time before he made a comeback.
Robin has the experience of opening in the domestic circuit and they have clicked very well… When we saw this wicket we knew it would be two paced. Playing the slow bowlers or spinners will be advantageous and the team management decided accordingly.