IPL 7: Kolkata Knight Riders Have Shed the Chokers Tag, Says Gautam Gambhir
With six wins on the trot, Kolkata Knight Riders have staged a dramatic turnaround in the Indian Premier League 2014. A confident Gautam Gambhir says his side has shown excellent temperament and have played well in crunch matches.
Refusing to take credit for turning around the fortunes of his team, captain Gautam Gambhir said on Thursday that he was satisfied but not surprised over his Kolkata Knight Riders' six-match winning streak which powered it to the playoffs of the Indian Premier League.
Addressing the media after humbling Royal Challengers Bangalore by 30 runs at the Eden Gardens here, Gambhir credited the entire team and support staff for the KKR's stupendous run after losing five of the seven games initially. (Match highlights | Match scorecard)
"It's pretty relieving, especially after we had just two wins from the first seven games. From there to turn it around and win six games in a row is very satisfying but we always believed that we had the side to turn it around.
"We had enough talent and individuals to turn it around and it is satisfying but not surprising," said Gambhir, with his side sitting at the third position in the points table after eight wins from 13 games. (Related: Our winning streak is no fluke, says Gambhir)
Having won five of its last six matches chasing, Gambhir also asserted that KKR have shed the "chokers" tag. "We knew that we have the bowling attack to defend anything. But to chase has been my personal decision as lot of people have been tagging us as chokers and I wanted to rid of this tag of chokers," he said.
"The five losses that we had were very close, we were not beaten convincingly. Couple of the games were very close and we should have won it. But this is what the format is all about and freak things do happen. We were very competitive taking the games to the end," he said.
Talking about the initial five losses in the tournament, Gambhir said the team had not been able to finish off the games. "One area of concern in the past was we have not been able to finish off the games.
We have not been able to deliver the knockout punch, but in the last six games we have been able to do that and deliver that knockout punch," he said.
The southpaw also admitted that he wasn't superstitious but changed his jersey number thrice to get the rub of the green.
"I am not a superstitious guy but still changed my jersey number thrice. Umesh (Yadav) told me to wear 77, Robin (Uthappa) told me to wear 23, though I used to wear number 5. But it is not about superstitious rather we sweated out for it," he said.
Asserting that a captain is as good as his team, Gambhir also said his team will not rest on its laurels, rather continue to play with the same aggression and intensity in the knockout stage of the tournament.
"I have always maintained that a captain is as good as his team and I believe that individual credit has no place in team sport. "I am not the one to be satisfied with achievements rather we need to keep working on and continue playing with the same intensity and passion because the actual tournament starts now," he added.