Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) was riding on an offbeat attitude while pushing heads with Royal Challenger Bangalore at Eden Garden. This brawl had been seesawing the preeminence for both the teams. The toss was in favor of Virat Kohli, who opted to field. On the other hand, KKR at the commencement of match was right away was on their blitz (65 in 6 overs). The dismissal of Gambhir somehow took a giant leap in this game, following which the entire KKR batting line-up failed. The momentum forged by the skipper and Narine circuitously led the total being sub par (131).
Taking a dig to the past defeat of KKR by Gujarat Lions, the shortcoming on KKR’s account reflected on their batting collapse. The same scenario had been portrayed in this match which generated the rage in Gambhir’s mind. Hence, keeping all the previous records and stats in mind, Gambhir for the first time in seven years of his captaincy yelled at his team’s heartbreaking collapse. He also made it explicit that in reciprocal to their batting collapse he wanted intensity from all the fellow teammates. While hitting the middle he wanted each one to play intensely for snatching this victory. Anything less would lead to lose of his position from the team.
“For the first time in my seven years with KKR, I was fuming. The loss against Gujarat Lions was still haunting. On the back of that, we collapsed from 65 for 1 to 131 all out against RCB. It was unacceptable. Normally I eat something during the break. Instead, I went and stood underneath the shower for about 3 to 4 minutes thinking it will cool me down. It didn’t. I was trying to arrest my emotions but was failing miserably,” Gambhir wrote.
“As the innings break was nearing the end I got the entire team together. There may be 60-odd thousand roaring outside our dressing room but inside it was so silent that you could hear people think! I started speaking and let go of all I had. I wanted intensity from my teammates. I wanted them to fight. I wanted them to win. I told them whoever dropped on intent should understand that this could be his last game for KKR, at least in my captaincy,” he stated.
On the question of grabbing the Fairplay Points, Gambhir made his heart out by showing no relevance to this provision. In his belief, he could go to any extent to seal the victory. Hence, conveying the same to his mates he suggested all of them to get under the skin of the opposition players and not let them have it easy out in the middle. He even preferred the pacers to unleash their blitz on to the opposition despite witnessing the setbacks generated by spinners to the same side.
“When I write this almost 24 hours later, I remember some of them looking at me, shocked and surprised. For most of the part of my stint as KKR leader, I have always been one of the boys, easy-going, relaxed and a bit of a prankster. I have never imposed myself but the batting collapse hurt me. I thought that we were not taking enough pride. I don’t know whether TV cameras or microphones caught it but we were chirping all the time when RCB were batting. I am happy to lose spots on the IPL Fairplay award list but I can not see my team slipping on the points table”.
Magic of Nathan Coulter-Nile
KKR skipper being lavish on extolling the potential of Australian pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile said that his presence in the team is like having the wind support. Gambhir added that he bowls like wind and that’s what he did with RCB top order which made their game difficult to launch upon us. Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers had trouble facing the Australian pacer which helped him bag 3 wickets for 21 runs.
“The team responded brilliantly. The tone was set by Nathan Coulter-Nile. During my stint with Justin Langer at Perth, I had seen Coulter-Nile train with the Western Australia state team. He is a mean looking guy, strong as an ox. We didn’t speak a word as I passed on the ball to him. He knew his job. The Aussie bowled like the wind and I supported him with attacking fields. My being under the helmet was more of a statement than a catching position,” Gambhir revealed.
Gambhir also seemed cognizant enough about Umesh Yadav’s contribution to this game, especially the trouble he yielded to Chris Gayle, who was fresh of a blistering knock against Gujarat Lions. Keeping in records of fielding brilliance it had been easy enough to sustain the pressure to the adversary. “There was another sight which would have pleased every supporter of Indian cricket. An Indian fast bowler Umesh Yadav having ‘Boss of Universe’ Chris Gayle ducking and weaving was the highlight of the game. Add to all this, our catching was the top draw” Gambhir mentioned.
Given that victory, a poll KKR is now standing in second place along with 10 points in the bag. 5 triumphs out of 7 games really showed its potential as King’s franchise. This 82 runs triumph over RCB would provide an edge to this franchise as they are one of the best consistent IPL teams. People would love to watch their unbeaten ascendance in this tournament with this ‘Gambhir’ attitude.