Some on-screen drama to beat stress for KKR

The team spent their off day watching 'Shootout At Wadala'.


Apart from the gyrating steps of adult movie star turned Bollywood seductress Sunny Leone and the rippling muscles of John Abraham there is little to look forward to in 'Shootout at Wadala' that has been running to packed houses in this part of the country.

It's a gore fest and exactly the kind of 'chalta hai' type of movie, mildly put by Manvinder Bisla, that Kolkata Knight Riders needed on Monday to keep their minds off the constant buzz about how other teams hold the strings to their play-off chances.

Their fate could have been sealed by Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday had they not lost to Mumbai Indians. Gautam Gambhir however feels the tag of defending champions doesn't give them the license to think they will win this year too. "Being a professional cricketer, whenever we walk out we want to win, irrespective of where we stand in the table," he said when asked if other factors weigh him down.

Nevertheless there is an urge to take the mind off cricket. Hence the impromptu plan to go to watch a movie. Or check out the nearby mall almost undetected, like Eoin Morgan and his partner did in the evening.

The match eve is a busy one for team yoga instructor Arvind Kumar, who goes to every room asking each player what they require. Given you need to play 16 high-intensity matches across the country in about 45 days it's bound to take a toll on the body and mind. The schedule is tight and tiredness and adrenalin makes it tough to fall asleep.

Hence a special regimen for Gambhir that allows him a deep sleep. "Even a nap during two hours of flight is enough for Gambhir to feel fresh," said Kumar, who had formerly worked with Kings XI Punjab.

Yoga is a huge hit with the team, especially with the foreigners. And it's not just that, or a strict gym session, which keeps Jacques Kallis fit as a fiddle.

"Kallis relies on acupressure a lot to release his post or pre-match stress," said Kumar. "It's my job to see that he gets the right acupressure therapy and sleeps in a particular posture at night. After every session he says, 'I feel new'," said Kumar. "So the question of the team being in stress doesn't arise." And it's not going to change any time soon. Not at least after the stress-busting loss inflicted by Kings XI on RCB.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.