Once again, our speedsters did the trick: KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir | ipl | Hindustan Times
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Once again, our speedsters did the trick: KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir

The KKR skipper praises his south African speedster and how he almost single-handedly changed the game in favour of Kolkata.

ipl Updated: Apr 21, 2016 23:44 IST
IPL 2016,Gautam Gambhir,Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab
KKR pacer Morne Morkel had a wonderful outing against KXIP in Mohali. He bowled 11 dot balls setting the tone for his side’s win. (AFP)

For me the feel good factor works like a galvanising force. Chandigarh is one of the top cities for me in India. The lavish spread of greens on both sides of the roads is so soothing. I have always commended the idea of houses not opening on the main roads here ensuring safety of the residents. I love the positivity and the slow pace of the City Beautiful.

We generally stay at the Marriott or the Taj here and both properties are well-served. I prefer Taj a little more as it is quieter of the two as certain sectors of Chandigarh have got busier over the years. Besides, I love the PCA Stadium – good pitch, fast outfield, a great curator in Mr Daljit Singh and a Club House steeped in history.

All of the above combine well to present me the upbeat vibes that I have more often than not taken into the game.

Two for joy

Tuesday’s game against Kings XI Punjab was no different. Besides the soothing Chandigarh canvas, I was also buoyed by the presence of my two young cousins Ekansh and Arhaan. The elder, Ekansh, plays cricket for Delhi and Arhaan too is an absolute sports junkie. Ekansh and I are fierce competitors on Play Station. More often than not it is football. Initially, I used to be the ‘consistent’ winner. But of late, Ekansh is setting the record straight. I try not to sulk but I am a terrible loser.

Young Arhaan is great fun. I know he is never his usual self in front of me. I was told he mimics bowling actions of his favourite cricketers Morne Morkel and Sunil Narine really well but he is too shy to do it in my presence.

He doesn’t know that once when he was doing it I had positioned myself behind the curtains and saw a 3-feet-10 inch rendition of the South African giant. My little bro does a circle at the top of the run-up ala Mr Morkel and then breaks into a run with those tiny steps. Really cute!

Morne magic

Arhaan would be one of many KKR fans who’d have been proud of Morkel’s bowling against Punjab. The 11 dot balls were priceless. An economy rate of 6.75 highlighted his experience. I think once again our faster men had laid basis for our victory.

Arhaan’s other favourite Sunil had second consecutive good game. He pegged Glenn Maxwell back before removing him and his 22 runs off the 4 overs didn’t seem to be that of a spinner who was playing only his second game with a remodelled action.

My favourite

But one of my favourite moments of the game was when Piyush Chawla penetrated the defences of Murali Vijay. Till then the Punjab opener was not only hitting the ball well but had an indifferent air about him. The other moment that stayed with me was Robin Uthappa’s pull off Mohit Sharma in the fifth over. I could have paid truckloads to go and watch that stroke.

I am back home and planning to position myself behind the curtains once again. I am told Arhaan can do a Robin as well.

(The writer is captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders)