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'Doing things professionally is the reason for KKR's success'

September 30, 2014 12:19 IST
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Gautam Gambhir, Russel Arnold and Robin Uthappa of the Kolkata Knight Riders walk back to the pavilion after their win over Dolphins. Photograph: BCCI

Riding high on a splendid preliminary campaign, Kolkata Knight Riders' batsman Robin Uthappa said his team would look to focus on its strengths in
the semifinal against Hobart Hurricanes in the Oppo Champions League Twenty20.

"I think they (Hobart Hurricanes) have been playing good cricket. I think some of their batsmen are really doing well. It is a good bowling side. We as a unit respect their side. But at the same time, we possess our strengths as well," Uthappa said. 

"So, I think we will focus more on our strengths and our abilities and sticking to our processes, which has been working for us thus far," he said. Uthappa was replying to a query on facing Hobart Hurricanes in the semifinals to be played on October 2. 

"It is an important game (semifinals). It is played in the afternoon for us. We are looking forward to the challenge. It is few days away. So, looking forward to the break tomorrow, practice the following day and prepare for the game," he said.

Robin Uthappa of the Kolkata Knight Riders in action. Photograph: BCCI

The victory against Dolphins was fourth for Kolkata in CLT20 and 13th in a row since the IPLT20 tournament this year. Uthappa, who hit a superb unbeaten knock of 85, was pleased with his performance. 

"I am feeling extremely happy. I think we have got kind of a pattern of going about our business on the field. Today, it was a slightly different wicket from the other wickets we played. It was good wicket, good challenging wicket, something for bowlers as well.

"For me, it was important to hold one end up. I am happy I was able to do that. Glad Manish (Pandey) stuck the way he did today," he said. Being the opening batsman, Uthappa said he felt that it is his responsibility to ensure a decent start to the innings. 

"I worked on my game quite a bit. So, I look to time the ball a lot more. I look play to the merit of the ball. That's what I have been doing for the last couple of years. So, I know it is my responsibility as an opening batsman to hold one end up for the team.

"I know that if I play to the merit of the ball and focus on rotating the strike, I know I have the ability to put away the bad balls for boundary. I am just trying to do that to the best of my ability," he said.

Robin Uthappa of the Kolkata Knight Riders. Photograph: BCCI

Uthappa said his team had a very professional approach to the game. 

"We just set ourselves up for whatever is there on that particular day. I think that is very important to be able to keep an open mind to say that anything is possible, instead of probably achieving the impossible.

"So, we keep our minds open and go about our business pretty professionally. I think that is a reason for our success so far," he said. 

Meanwhile, Dolphins Captain Morne van Wyk said the team has played under new conditions in India and that it has been a learning experience. 

"We will sit down and think about our poor performances and like I said, we will have a chat (after getting back home)," he said. Dolphins ended without a win in the CLT20 losing all of  its four matches in the tournament.

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