The flexibility in the team with the presence of a lot of all-rounders and the leadership skills of Gautam Gambhir have been behind Kolkata Knight Riders' good show in the IPL so far, coach Dav Whatmore said on Wednesday.
After forgetful performances in the first three seasons, the Knight Riders, under Gambhir, seemed to have got their balance right as they have notched up three successive wins in the current edition so far.
"There is significant difference in the two teams of first three years and this time. We have more flexibility, a lot more all-rounders who can do both very well. The biggest thing is that we have wicketkeepers who can bat at the top," Whatmore said.
Whatmore praised Gambhir for his captaincy skills which he felt has been a major factor in KKR's good run in the tournament.
"His leadership skills were proven in the recent ODI series against New Zealand when he captained India. He has got tremendous skills. He is soft spoken but his deeds speak for himself. He is a terrific guy, makes a lot of decision and he is well respected," the 1996 World Cup winning coach for Sri Lanka said.
The Australian had special praise for South African veteran Jacques Kallis
"Jacques records speak for themselves. He is a wonderful contributor for his country. He has done a very good job with the Royal Challengers before us. When we had an opportunity to get him at the auction we were very pleased to do that. We started off extremely well. He is very committed and continues to do well."
KTK have a former Knight Rider in Brendon McCullum who has been instrumental for their big wins over heavyweights Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, but Whatmore said his side was not scared.
"He (Brendon) was part of our side for last three years. He is a very good player. It did not work out for fourth edition. We are going forward. But we have an idea (for him). Certainly we would like to get him out early. He is in a bit of form, isn't it?"
Asked if KKR had asked for a fast surface after the slow track at Eden Gardens in the last match, Whatmore said, "It's your words not mine.
"That really is not my area. My concern is to ensure that the players get their best whatever surface they play on. I have not seen it (the pitch). I just arrived. We have to wait and see," he said.Asked if toss could be decisive, Whatmore said, "It's 50-50. You can't control it. It does not matter. We have to do well."