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IPL Extras: 'Picking quality bowlers in auction did the trick'

Last updated on: June 02, 2014 15:44 IST

IPL Extras: 'Picking quality bowlers in auction did the trick'

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Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir said the 'master move' of picking quality bowlers, instead of buying big batting names during February auction helped the team to pocket its second Indian Premier League title.

"When we went into the auction, we wanted a good bowling attack. A lot of teams might have thought of having a very good batting line-up in the T20 format. A strong bowling attack takes a lot of pressure off batting. But we have batted brilliantly as well," said Gambhir.

Asked to chose between the title wins of 2012 and this season, Gambhir said this was a very special one because after the first seven games people had written them off. But nine win on the trot mirrored the strong character of the team and the players.

Gambhir further said, "Nine (wins) in a row says a lot about the character of the team and the individuals. Halfway through the tournament, we were sixth or seventh. So this is something very special, which will stay close to my heart."

On Manish Pandey, who single-handedly won the finals with his 94 against Kings XI Punjab, Gambhir said a players worth is realised when he performs in crunch situations and that is the reason why we backed him.

"When we picked Pandey, we had a lot of faith and trust in him. He has delivered when it mattered the most. Not many franchises would have continued with him because he had struggled with his form. But we always felt he had the talent and fearlessness to go out and play this kind of an innings," he said.

About himself, Gambhir said it had been a roller coaster ride for him this season, but after finishing the season with an IPL win, one cannot complain.

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Image: Gautam Gambhi with Robin Uthappa
Photographs: BCCI

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This win is more satisfying than 2012: Narine

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Rejoicing after Kolkata Knight Riders lifted their second IPL title by beating favourites Kings XI Punjab in the final, off-spinner Sunil Narine said the triumph this year is more satisfying than their maiden trophy win in 2012.

KKR chased down 200 runs last night to become the only team after Chennai Super Kings to bag two IPL titles. Narine (1/46) was not exactly at his best in the summit clash but ended up as the tournament's second highest wicket-taker – 21 scalps.

"This year was even better since we scripted a win chasing 200, which is no easy task. The guys have worked hard for this win and we totally deserve this moment. We did not have the best of starts this year, but we ended up with nine straight wins, which is phenomenal," Narine told the IPL's official website.

"Winning it once is good, but to win it twice is a massive achievement and a tremendous feeling. Let us hope we can continue doing it ever after year. It is a great feeling to be a part of KKR and more importantly perform for the team. This year, it was a total team effort and credit to the whole team to show such character till the end of the tournament," he added.

Narine lauded batsman Manish Pandey, who top-scored for KKR with 50-ball 94.

Narine, who let go of a West Indies Test assignment against New Zealand to play in the final, dedicated the win to the KKR fans.

"This is for all the fans in Kolkata who have supported us, come what may. It has been a pleasure to play at EdenGardens this year as well, and hopefully, we can come back next year and retain the title," he said.

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Image: Kolkata Knight Riders players celebrate winning IPL 7
Photographs: BCCI

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I was the chosen one of KKR owners, glad to repay faith: Yusuf

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Elated at being part of an IPL-winning team thrice, swashbuckling Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Yusuf Pathan has credited team owners Shah Rukh Khan, Jai Mehta and Juhi Chawla for his fine form, saying that they backed him even after a lacklustre run at the start of the season.

"I would give credit to Shah Rukh bhai, Jai bhai and Juhi behen for backing me. All the three wanted to retain me after the 2013 season but for some reasons they couldn't. So I have always been their preference and it's good to be the chosen one. They always want me to do well," Yusuf said.

After a low-scoring first half this season, Yusuf found his lost touch post a 22-ball 72 against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Eden Gardens and he felt relieved on finally justifying skipper Gautam Gambhir's faith.

"Gautam trusts me immensely and had told me a number of times that I am his match-winner. And it felt good when I finally came up with a knock that helped my team end second before the play-offs. That innings justified his trust in me," said Yusuf.

After being slammed by critics for below par show in the first half of this season, Yusuf,31, finally ended with a respectable average of 29.77 and the 'Baroda bomber' admits that his promotion to the No.4

After leading Baroda to the title in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy and now being a part of a successful IPL team, Yusuf has set his eyes on a 2015 World Cup berth.

 

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Image: Kolkata players celebrate after winning the game
Photographs: BCCI

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Srinivasan meet with Arun Jaitley

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s president-in-exile, Narayanaswami Srinivasan, met with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Delhi on Monday.

Although details of the meeting were not known, the Tamil Nadu strongman was at the finance ministry office during the second half of the day and was with Jaitley for about half-an-hour.

Srinivasan was unavailable for comment about what transpired during the meeting with one of the seniormost ministers in the Narendra Modi government.

While he relinquished his BCCI vice-president's post due to political commitments, Jaitley is one of the respected voices in the BCCI and was also president of the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association sometime back.

He was also head of the BCCI's disciplinary committee, which imposed life bans on cricketers Shantakumaran Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan for their alleged role in spot-fixing during the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League.


Image: N Srinivasan
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

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