Chennai (The Telegraph):
The fifth edition of the Indian Premier League is turning out to be a play-ground of excellent camaraderie between the players, where the stars are coming down from their elevated positions to acknowledge the contributions of lesser mortals.
The other day it was the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s AB de Villiers who, in a fine gesture, shared his Man of the Match award with the little-known KC Appanna.
On Monday, it was Gautam Gambhir’s turn to set an example.
After the Kolkata Knight Riders’ five-wicket victory, Gambhir was awarded the MoM for his 52-ball 63.
But the captain chose to share it with Debabrata Das, who showed nerves of steel to finish the game. For the Knights’ captain, Das was the Man of the Match.
The following are excerpts:
On Monday’s victory being the Knights’ first win in Chennai
(Laughs) I’m a firm believer that past is past. You don’t look back at things because that is history. I always believe in looking forward… It never for once crossed my mind that we’ve never won in Chennai. It was a fresh game and that’s how we played it.
If he’s happy with this win before Saturday’s big clash, against Sourav Ganguly’s Pune Warriors
It’s not a big clash… For me, it’s just another game of cricket. I don’t believe it’s a big clash… We will play against Pune Warriors, it’s just a game… For me, it’s just another game of cricket and we’ve got to approach it as any other game.
Things getting a bit tough in the end…
As I said, it would always have been tough since Chennai are always a good side in their own backyard. It was a slow wicket… It’s not about how you start but about how you finish… I think a lot of credit should go to Debabrata Das … For someone so young and without much experience, he held his nerves… Finishing a game like this against a quality side makes it creditable… He’s someone you’ve to look out for… He’s just got to back himself and his talent because he’s very talented.
On the turning point on Monday
I don’t think there was any turning point. It was a complete team effort… It’s about doing well in all departments and that’s what we did. Only then do you deserve to win… We bowled well and restricted them to a decent total and then chased well… We never panicked towards the end. That’s how it happened. Whoever does these things well will end up winning more games.
The secret of his form
Nothing… There’s no secret to good form… It’s only about staying focused and hitting the balls... When things go your way, make full use of it because you don’t know when a bad patch will hit you. So it’s all about hitting the ball well when things go your way.
Yusuf Pathan’s form
We’re not thinking about his form. He’s a quality player… It’s just about one inning. He’s a big match player, and hopefully, he can turn it around. It’s only a matter of time before he starts hitting the ball well. If we’re winning without him contributing much, it’s a good sign for any team…
Views on the wicket
It was a decent wicket. I think you should also credit their bowlers on this wicket. It was a decent total and they have some good slow bowlers in their ranks… We started the chase off well and held our nerves in the end.