Mumbai:After suffering their third straight loss in the Indian Premier League with a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians on Monday, Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Sourav Ganguly said his team fell 10 to 15 runs short of a competitive total.
"I think we fell 10-15 runs short. 160-170 would have been a competitive total. It was not easy to get the spinners away. But we gave away too many runs upfront," said the former India skipper after his team slumped to their third loss in five ties.
Ganguly said KKR had the team to deliver the goods this time around after doing badly in the first two seasons but somehow they lacked the X-factor.
"We are batting well but not that well. We need the X-factor to get those 10 or 15 runs at the end," he said.
He praised the bowling performance of Mumbai Indians towards the latter part of their innings when they got restricted to 155 for three after scoring 70 for no loss in 11 overs.
"Laisth Malinga bowled very well at the death. Harbhajan Singh too bowled very well," he pointed out.
Ganguly defended the decision to open the bowling with pacers Shane Bond and Ishant Sharma.
"Ishant is the India seamer and then there was Bond. There was not enough turn in the wicket. You expect Ishant and Bond to pick up wickets. But after two overs I brought on Chris Gayle. You needed that much to study the wicket," he said.
Ganguly said that Ishant, who was spanked mercilessly by MI skipper Sachin Tendulkar during his unbeaten innings of 71 in 48 balls with ten fours, would hopefully learn from what he received from the champion batsman today.
"He (Tendulkar) is a great player and he's done that to quite a few players in the world. Hopefully Ishant would learn from this experience," the Bengal stalwart said.
He also praised Gayle's innings of 75 that was the bedrock on which KKR raised 155 for 3.
"He played well. He kept the innings together and we scored 155. But we needed that one big over which we did not get. Credit to Malinga and Harbhajan," he said.
Ganguly declared he and Gayle would open the innings henceforth and said Owais Shah was a better bet in the middle order than Brad Hodge who had to be left out at the top to accommodate Gayle.
"Now I think Gayle and myself would keep opening the innings. We will see what happens later," he said.
MI player Rajagopal Satish said that the useful tips provided by Tendulkar from the other end during their unfinished stand of 27 runs gave him confidence.
"I felt comfortable with Sachin at the other end. He gave me confidence and told me how the wicket behaved," he said.
Satish, one of the returnees from the defunct Indian Cricket League, said playing in IPL with top current players was far better than what he had experienced in the ICL.
"There's a massive difference between IPL and ICL. In ICL we had good players but here we have current top players and the world is watching us. One does not know where this will lead us. IPL is far better than ICL," he said.