‘Kolkata Knight Riders will be wary of bindas Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga’
Following Kolkata Knight Riders’ 10-wicket win over Gujarat Lions in their IPL 2017 opener, skipper Gautam Gambhir has some high praise for fellow opener Chris Lynn, while adding a word of caution ahead of their clash against Mumbai IndiansUpdated: Apr 09, 2017 09:06 IST
Besides being named ‘King of the Six’ back in Australia, Chris Lynn is an extremely generous man. Last IPL, he was carrying five fantastic cricket bats. All had identical features -- nice balance, wonderful pickup and a feel to die for. To me they looked like five indistinguishable monsters. Most batsmen are extremely possessive about their bats.Lynn is no different. (FULL IPL COVERAGE)
On the other hand, I have this bad habit of pinching bats from my teammates. Some of my colleagues in the Indian dressing-room hate me for this. Undeterred, I decided Lynn was to be my next ‘victim’. One day when the Queenslander had lowered his guard, I ‘attacked’ and got that willow.
Lynn’s straight batting
On Friday night against Gujarat Lions, it was Lynn on a double act. From one end, he and his bat were firing, and from the other, once again his bat and me were trying to catch up; a catch up which I am proud of.
It is for games like these that I strongly feel umpires need mandatory helmets. Lynn was not only hitting hard but hitting straight. I am told he is nicknamed ‘Lynnsanity’, and hopefully, by the end of this IPL, he’d have that name in a bolder and bigger font.
To open with him was not a knee-jerk decision. In Kolkata, we played three practice games and in almost all of them he fired. In one game, he scored 80 off 36 balls. KKR CEO Venky Mysore gave him Man of the Match for his efforts.
Lynn’s efforts may seem heroic but he keeps it really simple. I asked him once how he does what he does and he said, ‘Skip, I find it easier to hit the ball in the air rather than directing it through fielders.” His strategy is as docile as that.
Apart from that, he practices hitting these booming strokes a lot. Next time there is a practice session at the Eden Gardens, you must drop by to watch his method. I think entry is free on practice days.
My other big heroes from Friday’s game are the KKR bowlers. To restrict Lions to 183 on that Rajkot track was exceptional. I am lucky to have Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine besides Chris Woakes and Trent Boult. It’s always a big relief to win the first game and that too when it is an away game.
The next one comes against Mumbai Indians where our numbers are not that great. Momentum is a wonderful thing and Rajkot and Mumbai are not too far apart for it to travel with us in two days’ time. Hopefully, it will stay in our corner.
I have always admired Rohit Sharma, as a player and human being. The term bindas was coined keeping him in mind. When he bats at his best, it seems someone is gently massaging the back of your neck. Mumbai won’t mind offering that extra round of massage to Lasith Malinga, who has joined them after performing national duties.
He and Harbhajan Singh are the two experienced Mumbai nameplates. We can match MI player to player, but where we lose out is the Wankhede crowd.
Hopefully, Lynnsanity can swing them around.
(Gautam Gambhir is the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. He writes exclusively for Hindustan Times.)
First Published: Apr 09, 2017 09:04 IST