Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir in action during the match between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders at Wankhede Stadium. HT Photo by Kunal P Patil
After leading Kolkata Knight Riders to its maiden IPL title win, skipper Gautam Gambhir said the victory sends out a message that cricket is a team game and it is not confined to individual performances.
Gambhir's strong reaction came when he was asked if team hoped of win when he himself was out early while chasing 191. He was also asked about spinner Sunil Narine's contribution in his side's impressive show this season.
But the skipper asserted that his side was out to prove a point that it's the team that wins and deserves credit and not any individual.
Gambhir could score just two and it was Manvinder Bisla's terrific 89-run knock and his 136-stand with Jacques Kallis (69) for the second wicket, which set up the win.
"It's not about me or that I got out early. It is about eleven people who took the field. The way Bisla batted, the maturity and experience that Jacques showed and the cameos from Shakib and Tiwary at the end. It's not about how you start, it's how you finish. Those performances won the game for us," Gambhir said after a thrilling five-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings.
Gambhir got a bit irritated when he was asked about West Indian spinner Narine's contribution in team's success.
"Since the first press conference I did, I've said I hate to talk about individuals. It was not about Sunil Narine. KKR has never been about one individual, whether that's me or someone else. There has been a lot of talk about my form. I got a hundred in Bangladesh, I had a decent ODI series, but it was not about that.
"We all wanted to prove to the nation that cricket is a team sport and credit should go to the team. If you want individual credit you should play tennis, badminton or some individual sport, not a team sport such as cricket.
"From the first day I put this to the team: there will be no single day when the credit goes to an individual. Victory always belongs to the team. It was important to prove to the country that cricket is a team game, and hopefully we've gone some way in doing that," he said.