Having notched up their third consecutive win in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after beating Kolkata Knight Riders by six runs, Kochi Tuskers Kerela captain Mahela Jayawardene said the team is gelling well as a unit and it is the secret behind their success.
After a poor start to their campaign in the fourth edition of the mega-event, which saw them lose their first two matches, the IPL debutants roared back into contention beating heavyweights like defending champions Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Put into bat, the Tuskers were restricted to 132 for seven but they managed to eke out a narrow six-run victory over the Knight Riders and Jayawardene said it was all about the team effort.
"It's all about teamwork. We believe in our abilities. We try and execute gameplans accordingly. Everyone applause each other's success. It's really great to have a group like that. We just had to be clinical in executing," Jayawardene told reporters after his team's win here last night.
He also praised the team for putting up an allround show. "This is the good thing about IPL, playing in different surfaces, you got to adapt to the situation. The bowlers bowled brilliantly under pressure today and fielding was outstanding. It was a very good team effort," he said. Jayawardene said he was unaware of the reports that he would be replaced by Sourav Ganguly at the helm as he would have to leave for Sri Lankan team's England tour preparations beginning in May first week.
"Honestly, I don't know when we will be leaving. We might be able to play the whole IPL. Last time we heard that we would have to leave by May 5. But nothing official has been told to us." On the franchise's reported talks with Ganguly, who did not find any takers in the IPL 4 auctions, Jayawardene said: "It's up to the franchise.
I am here to play cricket. They will make the right call. We will see depending on the combination on who supports our cause. It's up to them to decide." Jayawardene said they would have opted to bat first if they had won the toss. "We were going to bat first so it didn't make a difference. I thought the wicket will slow down. We had made up our mind to bat first." On the tactical inclusion of Muttiah Muralitharan, Jayawardene said: "We make changes according to opposition and the conditions. We had to make this tough call of replacing an in-form Thisara Perera. But the conditions assisted spinner and Murali was the obvious choice." "Having seen Rajasthan's game, I thought 130 would be a good competitive total. You analyse the game and think. But we could have got more than that," he said. "Having said that, our guys did a great job in getting there. We were in a position for 15-20 more runs."