IPL Final: Gautam Gambhir, George Bailey Bank on Team Strengths
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir and Kings XI Punjab captain George Bailey both decided to focus on their own strengths instead of reading too much into the opposition ahead of the Indian Premier League 2014 final in Bangalore on Sunday.
In what promises to be a high octane IPL final here on Sunday, the skippers of Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders - George Bailey and Gautam Gambhir respectively - are focusing on their strengths instead of thinking too much about each other's potential.
"Kings XI are a very dangerous side. We have to perform very well in all the three departments to match their ability. What we need to do is to execute what we have planned. We don't discuss opponents but focus on our strengths.
"We will keep this in mind going into the match," Gambhir said on the eve of the match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. (IPL 2014 Final: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders - the Top Five Battles)
Bailey also acknowledged Kolkata to be a consistent side in all departments, but his team is focusing on their strengths rather than on the opposition's potential.
"Kolkata has been very consistent right throughout in all departments. I agree that worrying too much about the opposition does not help. We will focus on what we have to do on the ground," said the Australian.
Replying to a question, Bailey said the team has made the final after doing well in all the three departments of the game.
"I dont think we have made the finals on the back of one half of our team doing well. You need everyone to contribute," he said. (Veer (Kolkata Knight Riders) vs Zaara (Kings XI Punjab): Love in an Indian Premier League Final!)
Gambhir concurred with Bailey's remarks, praising their final opponents.
Asked about critics writing about Kolkata's team composition during the IPL auction, Gambhir said the team values the comments of his team-mates more than the critics.
"We don't give importance to critics. The most important thing is what the bunch of players sitting in the dressing room say about me and what I feel about them," he said.
On Virender Sehwag's sensational hundred against Chennai Super Kings, Bailey said the Delhi batsman had been scripting valuable 30-40 run innings, which people did not appreciate.
"I think people have been harsh on him. He has played some beautiful innings of 30s and 40s, but did not score big. The way Veeru bats, he forces the opposition to change their plans," he said.
Also opener Manan Vohra has been fantastic, getting good partnerships with Sehwag, he added.
Asked about the hectic travelling schedule, Baily said it is natural for any side to get a bit tired in such a long tournament but he said the team was itching to go out and perform in the summit clash.
Asked about the pressure of playing at a neutral venue, Bailey said both sides would be under pressure, but they will like to get their basics right.
"Both teams will face pressure. We are not going with brand new tactics. We wan to just go out and do same things and do our basics," he added.
Gambhir said, "I agree with George that we needn't do anything different in the game of cricket. We can't do much. Pressure will be there on both sides because it is a final and we have to win."
On Sehwag's innings, the Gambhir said it was pleasing to see a big-match player scoring a century.
"It was pleasing to see that he put his hands up and scored a century . I have always believed he is one of India's greatest match-winners."
Asked how he would react to playing against Sehwag, Gambhir said, "Friendship is off the field, not on the field. We have a lot of respect for each other. When we go out (on the field), I will be thinking of getting him out and vice versa."
On Sunil Narine's decision to play for Kolkata instead of West Indies, Gambhir said the star spinner has taken the right decision as no player wishes to quit before the final.
"He has taken the right decision to continue playing for KKR because the team has reached the finals and one game away. No player would like to skip that. If I was there in his position, I would have done the same," he added.