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Balaji credits Akram for his resurgence

Last updated on: April 18, 2011 09:47 IST

Man-of-the-match Laxmipathy Balaji credited bowling coach Wasim Akram for his impressive spell of 3 for 15 against Rajasthan Royals in Kolkata on Sunday, and said he and his fellow-pace colleagues are learning a lot from the iconic Pakistani bowler.

The former India seamer wrecked Rajasthan's batting line-up as Knight Riders bundled out the Jaipur side for a paltry 81 in 15.2 overs after being sent in to bat.

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"We all know what he (Akram) is capable of. Definitely, it's an education for each and every member of the team. We all are learning every bit of what he does. Like how to attack and all. All these things are very important for a bowler. The next generation of players will gain a lot (from him)," Balaji said of Akram.

L BalajiKnight Riders registered their second victory over Rajasthan in three days to climb to the top of the IPL standings.

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"It's a process. It's not over yet. We have still 10 more matches to go. It has to be planned like a ladder. We have to have a rhythm to go into the next level," the lanky pacer insisted.

Balaji provided Knight Riders the first breakthrough, cleaning up in-form Shane Watson with a classic outswinger. The former India seamer said it was a dream ball.

"It was a really good ball, something that I used to bowl some seven-eight years ago. It was really thrilling to see the batsmen beaten. I would like to bowl similarly again and again," he said.

"Watson was a very important wicket. We needed the wicket very badly in the first six overs. His breakthrough gave me immense pleasure." Balaji added.

Balaji said the Eden Gardens wicket on Sunday was on the slower side.

"It was a little bit on the slower side. But you can't help conditions. Our batsmen really applied themselves well. (Gautam) Gambhir, (Manoj) Tiwary and (Manvinder) Bisla played sensibly.

"There is a long way to go. We will just take match by match. We got to have a relaxed mind. We have got a good initiative," Balaji said, about their approach for the upcoming matches in the tournament.

Asked whether Knight Riders' performances in the previous seasons affected the team in any ways, he replied, "It's a completely new team with a new captain. We all get together very well and play as unit. It's a new season; whatever happened in the past is history."

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