'Shubman is able to stay calm under pressure situations, which is a very unique skill to have.'
'I expected our bowlers to perform better.'
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik rued his side’s inability to defend the 179-run target they set Delhi Capitals in Friday’s IPL match, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, saying they fell short by 10-20 runs and also did not bowl.
KKR suffered their second successive defeat to Delhi Capitals despite Andre Russell's explosive of 21-ball 45.
Delhi did well to dismiss the West Indies power-hitter in the penultimate over and restrict KKR.
"We knew that we needed to get a big total but we ended up getting probably 10-15 runs short. Eden has been one place where the wicket is so true, and the outfield being so fast the boundaries come easily. So here you have to get a score which is about 5-10 runs more than par on other grounds," said Karthik said after they slumped to a seven-wicket defeat.
He also blamed his bowlers, saying they could have done a bit better in the absence of Sunil Narine, who was down with a hamstring issue.
"We were definitely not a bowler short for sure. We had more options like Carlos (Brathwaite). We were a few runs short and could have bowled a little better. I expected our bowlers to perform better but that did not turn out to be. Such things happen in a game of cricket."
Karthik said Narine's absence made a huge difference.
"Sunil brings in a bit of batting and bowling. Most of all, he's experienced, with a cool head; that always helps. It really makes a difference. Narine has been someone who's given us a good start whenever he's got an opportunity."
In Narine's absence, Shubman Gill was promoted to open the innings and the talented 19-year-old youngster responded with a 39-ball 65.
"Today Shubman used the opportunity and has done really well. It shows his class as player. He's able to stay calm under pressure situations, which is a very unique skill to have. He has delivered for us over and over again."
Gill has been used as a floater this season, with the youngster seen batting at No 6 against Chennai Super Kings.
"He realises that whenever there's an opportunity he will be send up the order; if not, he's pretty okay batting at No 6-7 and finishing of games whenever he gets the opportunity. I think we've been very straightforward with him and he appreciates that."
There has been a lot of talk about Ganguly's dual role as IPL franchise Delhi Capitals’s advisor while serving as the president of Cricket Association of Bengal. A few of his detractors had claimed that he would have 'a say' in the making of the greenish pitch.
But Karthik said the wicket was no different from their previous two matches against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab this season.
"It was pretty similar. I don't think there's too much of a difference. It is a very good pitch. I don't know if they read the pitch better. Obviously, both the teams read the pitch normally. There was nothing different we could have done," said Karthik.
On Sunday, KKR will be up against table-toppers and defending champions Chennai Super Kings, who had restricted them to a paltry 108/9 before cruising to a seven-wicket win in the first leg.
"Obviously, it's a big game. They're a good team. Two good teams playing against each other will be a good game. That's the beauty of IPL you win two on the trot and you lose two out of two. These things happen. It's about how balanced you can stay as a team," he said.
The home team is hit by a bout of flu, their opener Chris Lynn missing out of action against Delhi, while Karthik said he too is down with the virus.
"I'm also down with a bit of a fever and flu. I've also not been feeling well since yesterday."