IPL 2018: KKR fightback vs RR showed character, says Jacques Kallis
Kolkata Knight Riders coach Jacques Kallis says the way his team came back against Rajasthan Royals in their previous Indian Premier League (IPL) match stands them in good stead in their crucial tie against Sunrisers Hyderabad.cricket Updated: May 18, 2018 19:24 IST
Kolkata Knight Riders, with 14 points from 13 games, are in pole position to become the third team to seal a playoff spot in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018. A win against Sunrisers Hyderabad here on Saturday will do the job for them. A loss would, however, complicate matters as four other teams are also in contention.
Going into such a crucial match, KKR head coach Jacques Kallis said he feels extra confident after the way his boys came back against Rajasthan Royals in the previous match after conceding 59 runs in the first four overs.
“Our biggest gain from the last game was the way we came back after Rajasthan reached 59/0 in four overs. The guys showed character and stuck in under pressure. That’s what pleased me the most about the way they went about the business. We are going to need a lot of it tomorrow,” Kallis said in the pre-match press conference.
After RR had scored 59/0 in four overs, Kuldeep Yadav returned with four wickets for 20 runs as KKR restricted their rivals to 142. KKR reached the target easily.
“The equation is simple for us. If we win against SRH, we are through. They have played some good cricket throughout under Kane Williamson’s leadership. They are assured of a top two finish in the league stages. They will do us no favours tomorrow and we aren’t expecting anything either. We will try to give our best against them,” Kallis said.
“Mentally we are not thinking too much. The guys know their roles and how to go about it. We need bit of luck on the day and with the combination of good cricket we will hopefully do well.”
Apart from KKR, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore are in contention to seal the last two remaining playoff spots on the final two days of the league stage. Chennai Super Kings and SRH have already qualified for playoffs. Kallis said that this is good to keep the interest up.
“It’s because of the format of the competition (that so many teams are in contention). Every team has got pretty much equal strength. On any given day anybody can beat anyone. Last few years, it has come down to the last couple of games. It obviously keeps the excitement up and the interest kicking in,” Kallis said.