Chennai (The Telegraph): It is impossible to tame Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at Chepauk.
In the initial stages of the IPL-V, though CSK struggled to cash in on the home advantage, they accumulated an impressive six wins in their nine matches till the second Qualifier.
Out of the three losses, one came against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on the last day of the last month. Still it’s no denying the fact that Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men will enjoy home advantage in the final on Sunday.
KKR captain Gautam Gambhir, though, is not ready to lose sleep over the fact that the CSK will have the crowd support.
“Chennai have been two-time winners and they know how to play in finals. There is no doubt that the crowd support will be in favour of them as they will be playing in their own backyard. But I have always believed that in big games like this you always have a 50-50 chance. In such games there are no favourites and underdogs. To me, everyone start a big game on even keel,” Gambhir said at the news conference after a practice session.
So does he think that his team has the wherewithal to beat CSK? “We have to be on our toes… We need to give more than 100 per cent. We have to give it our best shot if we want to beat CSK in Chennai.”
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Gambhir added: “I have always maintained that CSK are a good side… They have won the title consecutive times and therefore, the pressure will be on them. But we have also played good cricket and there is lot of quality. Hopefully, we can continue improving our standard and we want to be at our best.”
KKR will not be short on motivation as they are looking for their maiden IPL title. A major credit to KKR’s magnificent run to the final should go to Gambhir. Not only did he prove to be the side’s best batsman, he has also been one of the aggressive captains.
Asked about his captaincy, Gambhir said: “When you are on the field, you are not there to make friends… You are there to get results in your team’s favour. While doing so, sometimes you have to be aggressive … I think being a little aggressive works for me… That is how we have won matches. Now that we are in the final, we would not just be mere competitors.”
Gambhir once again said that a captain is as good as his team.
“The combined efforts of the 11 players on the field make a successful captain. I always believe that when you select a team, you always try to get the best combination out on the field. I think that the selected players are bound to perform and they are picked to contribute to the team’s cause. You do not walk on to the field to play as an individual… The USP of our team is to play as a unit,” Gambhir said.
The KKR captain said his team want to win it for the people of Calcutta.
“The way the fans in Calcutta have supported us even when things were not going in our way have been really heart warming… At times, the support for our team have been so strong that we were really overwhelmed. So, when we walk on to the field tomorrow [Sunday], we will try to win it for Calcutta. KKR are not about me or Shah Rukh Khan or one or two individuals… It is about the millions of people who’ve been supporting us. I can assure you that there will be no shortage of our effort and hopefully we can try and win the title and give joy to the City of Joy.”