Kolkata Knight Riders team with DLF IPL winning trophy at MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai. (HT photo by Virendra Singh Gosain)
Describing Kolkata Knight Riders as "deserving winners" of the Indian Premier League, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly praised Manvinder Bisla for his cracker of an innings that set the stage for the team's triumph in the final against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.
"After the first six overs in the KKR innings, I thought 191 was gettable. I thought KKR was destined to win. Bisla batted superbly. It was clean hitting. He played out of his skin."
"He never allowed the pressure to choke him. He and (Jacques) Kallis never allowed the requird run rate to go out of control," Ganguly told Bengali news channel Star Ananda.
Replying to the Kings' 190/3, KKR lost skipper Gautam Gambhir early, but Bisla plundered 89 and added 136 with Kallis for the second wicket.
"Kolkata Knight Riders are deserving winners. Chennai Super Kings never seemed as consistently good as the Knights," he said.
Calling MS Dhoni as India's best twenty20 skipper, former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly on Sunday said the time has not come to compare Gautam Gambhir to the Ranchi boy.
"Overall Dhoni is the best T20 captain now. Dhoni's record in this format is fantastic. He has led the country to the world T20 title. He has made Chennai Super Kings champions twice as captain. And Gambhir is only captain of this year's IPL winning team (Kolkata Knight Riders). So I feel the time has not come to compare Gambhir with Dhoni as far as captaincy is concerned," Ganguly said.
The prince of Kolkata said Gambhir looked under pressure both as captain and player in the IPL final on Sunday.
"I don't think his captaincy today was as good as in other games. He seemed under pressure as captain and when he went out to bat. I did not like his body language," Ganguly told Bengali news channel Star Ananda.
Ganguly said he found it surprising that Dhoni did not use any left arm bowler, when Manvinder Bisla and Jacques Kallis -- both right-handed -- went on plundering runs.
Replying to the Kings' 190/3, KKR lost skipper Gautam Gambhir early, but Bisla (89) played a cracker of an innings and added 136 with Kallis for the second wicket that set the stage for the team's win.
"When two right handers were playing so well, Dhoni continued with offies. I found it surprising. He should have used a left arm bowler," he said.
Ganguly also questioned Dhoni's field setting, saying Chennai conceded too many easy singles.
Asked whether after his success as KKR captain, Gambhir stood a chance to replace Dhoni as Test captain, Ganguly said: "As a Test player, I feel there is a question mark over Dhoni. But Gambhir has also not done well in the last eight Tests."
"But obviously, Dhoni's case is different. He is the incumbent captain. So he has got the backing. But if Dhoni does not play well, this is a possibility, but not in the near future," he added.