Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir said it was the quality of his bowling attack rather than any devils in the wicket that reduced Pune Warriors to a meagre 118 in their Indian Premier League tie at the D Y Patil Stadium.
"Whenever a team is bowled out for 120 or 130 everyone keeps talking about the wicket. Rather than talking about the wicket, a lot of credit should go to our bowlers," said Gambhir after his team's comprehensive seven-wicket victory over the Warriors.
"At Eden Gardens also, our bowlers have been doing a great job. There has been hue and cry over that wicket but we have been chasing totals easily. The other teams have not been able to score, so give credit to our bowlers. This was good wicket to bat on," said the India opener who led the run-chase with a superb, unbeaten knock of 54 in 46 balls.
After he asked Warriors to take first strike on winning the toss, the spin trio of Yusuf Pathan (2 for 23), Iqbal Abdulla (1 for 12) and Shakib Al Hasan (2 for 16) shackled the Warriors' batting line-up and prevented the order consisting of World Cup hero and skipper Yuvraj Singh, Sourav Ganguly and Jesse Ryder from going on the offensive.
Gambhir now saw the last league tie against Mumbai Indians on May 22 at home as crucial for his team's chances of making it to the play-offs.
"Our most important day is the 22nd when we play against Mumbai Indians. If Mumbai Indians are strong, we are equally strong," he said.
Both KKR and MI are level on points with 16 each, but the latter have one extra game in hand. Chennai Super Kings (18) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (17) have booked two of the four play-off spots on offer. The fifth contender is Kings XI Punjab.
Gambhir disagreed with the suggestion that his team had been inconsistent in the tournament.
"I disagree with that view. We have been the most consistent team in the tournament. We have played very well in the tournament. There has been hardly a game in which we have not given 100 per cent. We would like to do so in our next game too," said the left-handed batsman.
Asked how come Rahul Sharma did not gain the same sort of purchase as his finger spinners did, Gambhir said the leggie was a different sort of bowler.
"He does not spin the ball much but is a bowler who is between wicket and wicket. Our bowlers turn the ball more. But he's a quality bowler," he said.