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'Yuvraj is India's greatest match-winner'

Last updated on: April 09, 2014 19:11 IST

'Yuvraj is India's greatest match-winner'

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Manu Shankar

‘Had there been an [IPL] auction today, Kolkata Knight Riders would have still bid for him in the same aggressive manner,’ says Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir. Manu Shankar reports.

Throwing his weight behind a struggling Yuvraj Singh, Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir said the Punjab all-rounder, despite his flop show in the just-concluded WT20 final, still remains India’s greatest match-winner. 

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Yuvraj was widely criticized for his 21-ball 11 in Sunday’s final, many insisting his poor showing with the bat was the main reason for India’s six-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka.

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Image: Yuvraj Singh
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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'I don't think any cricketer has criticized Yuvraj'

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Manu Shankar

Blaming the media for unwarranted criticism, Gambhir said people should be careful about what they say.

"I don't think any cricketer has criticized Yuvraj. It is the media which has attacked him; we need to be careful about what we say. He has been our greatest match-winner in limited-overs’ cricket," declared Gambhir, on Tuesday.

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He went on to reveal that Kolkata Knight Riders were very close to capturing the services of the man who played a key role in India’s triumph in the inaugural WT20 in 2007 as well the 2011 World Cup before losing out to Royal Challengers at the auction for the Indian Premier League’s seventh season, which commences next week.

"At the IPL auction we were really close to getting him before RCB won the bid.

“Had there been an auction today, Kolkata Knight Riders would have still bid for him in the same aggressive manner. Yuvraj, according to me, is our greatest match-winner till date," Gambhir added.

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Image: Yuvraj Singh
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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'Morne is the toughest fast bowler that I have faced'

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Manu Shankar

Gambhir was optimistic about KKR’s chances in the IPL this season, saying much will depend on the showing of South Africa’s Morne Morkel and the West Indies’ Sunil Narine.

"Morne is the toughest fast bowler that I have faced. Dale Steyn, Brett Lee and Shoaib Akhtar are quick, but Morne is the best I have faced.

“If he can bowl according to his potential, along with Sunil Narine, we do have a good chance," he said.

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Image: Morne Morkel
Photographs: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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'Team India not over-dependent on Kohli'

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Manu Shankar

Quizzed about whether Team India’s is over-dependent on Virat Kohli, Gambhir was judicious in his reply.

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"Cricket is a team game and 11 players are out there in the field. The game is won by 11 players and lost by 11 players. It's not an individual sport," said the Delhi opener.

"In T20s, how many deliveries do you get? 120 balls and not 300 deliveries! So, it’s natural that your numbers 1, 2 and 3 will score more than your numbers 4, 5 and 6,” he added.

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Image: Virat Kohli
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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'No home advantage or away disadvantage'

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With the IPL moving out to a new venue, Gambhir felt it will be good.

"It's an exciting opportunity, as I have never played in the UAE before. Also, we would be playing Mumbai Indians in the opening match, which is a good thing than playing against them in Mumbai in front of a packed crowd.

"It will be a match where there will be no home advantage or away disadvantage.

“Mumbai Indians are defending champions and it will be great to get them off first up."

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Image: Gautam Gambhir
Photographs: Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Tags: IPL , UAE , India

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