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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Cricket

Now it's up to us to keep Kings XI out of the race
Jacques Kallis
May 18, 2011
First Published: 23:23 IST(18/5/2011)
Last Updated: 23:26 IST(18/5/2011)
Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Jacques Kallis of South Africa plays a shot during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match between Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Kolkata Knight Riders at The Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi.

Two games to go until the playoffs and we need to win at least one to make sure we qualify. The Pune Warriors, like every team in this tournament, can be devastating on their day. Hopefully, today is not their day.

If it is, then we could face the prospect of a final group showdown against the Mumbai Indians for a place in the last-four. At least our fate is in our hands. But I cannot accept that after spending almost every day of the tournament in the top-four, we miss out on the final day of the league fixtures.

The rest of the KKR squad feels exactly the same way and we are all aware of the form of the Kings XI Punjab and how they have stormed up the league table and into contention for a place in the knockout stage. But it's up to us to keep them out, and the best way to do that is to focus on our games.

Fantastic occasion
We had a brilliant evening at Shah Rukh Khan's house a couple of days back. Apart from the fact that we had a couple of days off and the timing was good for dinner, I think he had another reason for getting us all together.

Although he desperately wants to have his first taste of a playoff berth in his fourth season as owner of the Knight Riders, he also wants to do what he can to ensure that everybody is in the right frame of mind as we get to the business end of the season.

Brett Lee takes every opportunity he gets to perform and entertain, and he certainly wasn't going to miss out at SRK's house! The players have all got to know each other well on the field but there is something very different about socialising in a pressure-free and relaxed environment. It was a fantastic occasion and if it adds an extra one per cent to our performance at 'crunch time', it might make the difference between going home and going all the way.

Hawkeye


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