Navjot Sidhu credits Gautam Gambhir for inspiring table-toppers KKR: ‘Anybody can be a pilot when the sea is calm but…’ | Crickit
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Navjot Sidhu credits Gautam Gambhir for inspiring table-toppers KKR: ‘Anybody can be a pilot when the sea is calm but…’

May 12, 2024 06:22 PM IST

Navjot Singh Sidhu credited mentor Gambhir for KKR's rise as they became the first team to qualify for the playoffs this season.

Kolkata Knight Riders extended their purple patch in IPL 2024 and became the first team to qualify for the playoffs this season with a clinical win over Mumbai Indians at Eden Gardens on Saturday. KKR finished seventh on the points table last season, but they looked a completely different unit this season in a better way and played dominant cricket in the league stage so far. They are currently sitting at the top of the points table with 9 wins in 12 matches.

Bengaluru: Kolkata Knight Riders captain Shreyas Iyer, coach Chandrakant Pandit and mentor Gautam Gambhir during a practice session.(PTI)
Bengaluru: Kolkata Knight Riders captain Shreyas Iyer, coach Chandrakant Pandit and mentor Gautam Gambhir during a practice session.(PTI)

The return of Gautam Gambhir in the KKR dressing room as a mentor has worked wonders for them in the ongoing season. Gambhir's ploy to back Sunil Narine as an opener along with World No.2 T20I batter Phil Salt has been a masterstroke. Meanwhile, the two-time champions have also done extremely well with the ball and defended targets with the spin twins Varun Chakaravarthy (18 wickets) and Narine (15 wickets) leading the charge for them in the middle overs. While young Harshit Rana (16) is doing the job well with the new ball, all-rounder Andre Russell has also displayed his skills with the ball and picked 15 wickets.

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Former cricketer-turned-commentator Navjot Singh Sidhu credited mentor Gambhir for KKR's rise in the ongoing season of IPL.

“I have seen Gautam Gambhir gets inspired when the situation gets tough,” Sidhu said on Star Sports. “He starts advising and that’s how it should be. Anybody can be a pilot when the sea is calm but you only learn when in adverse situations.”

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Sidhu, who returned to the commentary box this season, hailed KKR for collective efforts with the ball as five of the bowlers have claimed more than 10 wickets each for them and not relied on individual brilliance to get over the line.

“KKR is the only team with five bowlers who have taken 10 wickets each and the sixth has taken 9 wickets. Show me a team that has six bowlers who have 60 wickets between them,” Sidhu said.

He further Gambhir for bringing back Sunil Narine to the opening slot - the move which worked brilliantly well for them as Narine is running in the race for both Orange and Purple Caps with season with 461 runs and 15 scalps.

“The most valuable player in the tournament is Sunil Narine. Who got (Mitchell) Starc? Everybody was talking about 23 crore ( 24.75 crore being splurged on a single player). The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. It is the value addition, boss! Don’t measure him in crores. See what value addition he is bringing,” Sidhu said.

“Look at KKR’s six bowlers, top batters – everybody is in form. There’s one parallel power centre. Everybody will feel they deserve to do that. They have balance, they have a great mentor, they have a superb captain. They have everybody in form. What else do you need? You can’t have everything, where will you keep it?” he added.

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