Hyderabad: Kolkata Knight Riders coach Dav Whatmore is confident that his boys will put their best foot forward despite the absence of skipper Gautam Gambhir.
"He (Gambhir) was the skipper. Obviously, we will miss him as he is a very good player. It is just a little unfortunate as his injury happened during the Test series in England. That was an unavoidable situation. We just try to get on with it as best as we can," KKR's coach Dav Whatmore told reporters here on Tuesday.
Gambhir, who is suffering from concussion after a nasty fall during India's third Test against England, has been ruled out for the qualifying matches to be played here on September 19, 20 and 21.
Appreciating the contribution of Jacques Kallis, who will now lead KKR in Gambhir's absence, he said the team is looking forward to the years of experience that he will bring to the table.
"(Jaques) Kallis was vice-captain in IPL 4. He was terrific. He came up with some good ideas. We look forward to him leading us," Whatmore said.
Noting that the team is excited to be part of the CLT20 for the first time, Whatmore said they would try to "travel further into the tournament."
In addition to Gambhir, Eoin Morgan is also injured and Whatmore said the team would try out the best possible combination out of the remaining foreign recruits.
Asked if India is playing too much of cricket, Whatmore said: "I don't think so. I think the public loves the sport. It is unfortunate that the team has not done all that well in England. They will be returning very soon and I am sure they will be supported by every one."
India discard Yusuf Pathan also feels that a good performance in CLT20 will help his chances of making a comeback in the Indian team.
"We are all very keen to do well. It is big tournament. We will all try to perform well. Obviously, CLT20 is a big tournament. Teams from all top cricketing nations are competing. The better I perform in Champions League, the greater chance I would have of making a comeback in the national squad," he said.
To another query, Yusuf said his younger brother Irfan Pathan is also striving to do well and hopefully both of them would play together soon.