Kolkata Knight Riders Skipper Gautam Gambhir Says Picking Quality Bowlers in IPL 7 Auction Helped Them Win
With bowlers like Morne Morkel, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla and Shakib-al-Hasan, Kolkata Knight Riders undoubtedly had the best bowling attack in Indian Premier League 2014. The fact that they conceded only 170-plus runs in the league games before the IPL final says it all.
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir on Monday said the 'master move' of picking quality bowlers, instead of buying big batting names during February auction helped the team to pocket its second Indian Premier League title.
"When we went into the auction, we wanted a good bowling attack. A lot of teams might have thought of having a very good batting line-up in the T20 format. A strong bowling attack takes a lot of pressure off batting. But we have batted brilliantly as well," said Gambhir in the post-match presser. (Celebration pics)
Asked to choose between the title wins of 2012 and this season, Gambhir said this was a very special one because after the first seven games people had written them off. However, nine wins on the trot mirrored the strong character of the team and the players.
"It is difficult to compare the two wins, but I feel especially after the first seven games a lot of people may not have given us a chance of playing the finals," he said.
Gambhir further said, "Nine [wins] in a row says a lot about the character of the team and the individuals. Halfway through the tournament, we were sixth or seventh. So this is something very special, which will stay close to my heart."
On Manish Pandey, who single-handedly won the finals with his 94 against Kings XI Punjab, Gambhir said a players' worth is realised when he performs in crunch situations and that is the reason why they backed him. (Highlights)
"When we picked Pandey, we had a lot of faith and trust in him. He has delivered when it mattered the most. Not many franchises would have continued with him because he had struggled with his form. But we always felt he had the talent and fearlessness to go out and play this kind of an innings," he said. (Read: Manish Pandey, Kolkata's Knight in Shining Armour)
About himself, Gambhir said it had been a roller coaster ride for him this season, but after finishing the season with an IPL win, one cannot complain. (Read: Gambhir happy to prove naysayers wrong)
"It has been a roller coaster ride, but when you finish the season winning the IPL, you cannot complain. It is not about how you start the season, it is how you finish. The guys were desperate to turn it around after the first seven games and that is what strong individuals are all about," he added.