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HindustanTimes Sat,22 Nov 2014

Cricket

We are playing Warriors, not just Sourav
Gautam Gambhir
May 18, 2011
First Published: 23:38 IST(18/5/2011)
Last Updated: 00:54 IST(19/5/2011)
Gautam Gambhir of Kolkata Knight Riders plays a shot during the IPL-4 cricket match against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Kolkata.

I believe the pundits have been working out endless permutations and combinations of which team needs to do what in order to make it to the play-offs. We have not concerned ourselves with those calculations because we know the best way to get to the top-four is to win both our remaining games. We have been playing good cricket and most of the players have had good performances at some point in the last 12 games.

We take on the Pune Warriors on Thursday and while they are no more in the reckoning for a play-off berth, they are a very good team. It bears repeating that we are playing Pune and not just Sourav Ganguly.

We are not focussing on any individual and are planning and strategising for the whole team. There are many extremely talented players in the Pune squad and Sourav is certainly one of them. However, to classify this game as KKR versus Ganguly is unfair both to the teams and to Ganguly.

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Team composition
I have only played one game at the DY Patil and it is a good track that has something in it for the batsmen as well as bowlers. We will be fielding a slightly changed combination because Eoin Morgan has headed back to England. Depending on the wicket, we will play either Shakib al-Hasan or Ryan ten Doeschate.

The Pune team has reaped rich dividends from the leg-spin of Rahul Sharma and it looks like the track does assist spin.

We have played only one game in the last 12 days and it has been a challenge keeping the team match-ready because each game at this stage is very important.

Unfortunate loss
We were unfortunate to be defeated in a rain-truncated game but that can happen in any tournament. However, the rub of the green went the other way. It was hard to pull the game back because there were just not enough overs left. I think we did well to ensure that the game went into the last over because it did ensure that our net run-rate did not suffer too much.

However, run-rates are not an area I would like to go into because we have the team to win on Thursday and Sunday. I believe we are yet to play a bad game and we are also yet to play as well as we really can.

Players right through the order, right from Jacques Kallis to Yusuf Pathan are all due for a big one, and if one of them comes good on Thursday, we would be in a comfortable position.

Gameplan


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