In a matter of 9.4 overs, a fired up Kolkata Knight Riders caught Royal Challengers Bangalore by the scruff of their neck and sent them packing in front of a raucous Eden Gardens on Sunday. While it has been more than 24 hours since the match ended, Gautam Gambhir, in a column with the Hindustan Times, has revealed how he was left fuming after his team collapsed from 65-1 to 131 all out, and had to vent his anger at his teammates before his team walked out to defend their modest total.
While Gambhir generally prefers eating fish (his favourite being the paturi, marinated steamed fish), he stood underneath the shower for three to four minutes, trying to cool himself down.
He summoned his troops towards the end of the innings break, and spilled out everything inside. He went to the extent of handing out an ultimatum to the players, saying that if he they didn’t show the same intensity, it might be their last game for KKR.
He also said that Fair play points didn’t hold any relevance to him, as long as he could see his team was not going down in the points table.
The words worked like magic on the team, as they effected a remarkable collapse on the vaunted RCB line-up, throwing them down the barrel with a sustained bowling performance.
He reserved special praise for Nathan Coulter-Nile, who didn’t say a word when Gambhir tossed the ball to him but “bowled like the wind”. In all, Coulter-Nile took three wickets, prising out the likes of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in his spell of 3-21.
Pressing from the other end was Umesh Yadav, who, according to Gambhir, “pleased every Indian Cricket supporter” by troubling Chris Gayle with his express pace and bounce.
Till that night, Gambhir considered himself as the “easy-going and relaxed guy”, a prankster at times. He turned into a no-holds-barred, inspired leader, admonishing his troops for their below-par performance. He thought that the team wasn’t taking enough pride. The way his Knights responded, however, would have swelled his chest with pride.
RCB were shot out for 49, the lowest total in IPL history. KKR completed an 82-run rout, and now sit comfortably at the second spot in the IPL table. RCB is languishing at the bottom.
“I wanted them to fight. I wanted them to win. I told them whoever dropped on intent should understand that this could be his last game for KKR, at least in my captaincy”.
When spoken in the right spirit, words can work wonders.