Team was not intimidating enough, feels CSK coach Fleming

A rejuvenated Robin Uthappa is relishing his new role as an opener alongside skipper Gautam Gambhir in Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) team and feels “confidence and understanding” was the mantra behind the duo’s success in the ongoing IPL-7.

Both Uthappa and Gambhir has been out of the Indian team for quite some time now and would be eyeing a berth in the national squad for the upcoming England tour riding on their performances in the ongoing IPL.

“The confidence is good for both of us. Gautam and I understand each other very well. We play to our plan and we complement each other well… We don’t really think about pressure. We just think of going out there and doing our job,” said Uthappa, who guided KKR to an eight-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday night to take the team an inch closer to a play-off spot.

Uthappa struck 67 from 39 balls and shared 64 runs in just seven overs for the opening wicket with Gambhir to raise their third 50 plus partnership. The duo also has two century plus stands in the last five innings.

Talking about his new found consistency, the 28-year-old batsman from Bangalore said his focus this season was to play proper cricketing shots without taking any undue risks in the initial overs.

Stressing on the importance of making a winning start to KKR’s campaign on home turf in this IPL, Uthappa said: “We came to Kolkata after a long time in the tournament. We didn’t know what the par score would be here. We chased really well in our last game. We just felt it would be better to go after a score because that’s something we have done really well in the tournament. It was very important to get off to a win here... ”

Fleming lists shortcomings

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) coach Stephen Fleming feels his team was not intimidating enough and lacked the winning attitude against KKR on Tuesday.

“It’s more of the attitude that hurt us, we were a bit soft as we intimidate our way in when things don’t go our way but the attitude was not there today, quite unlike of CSK. Once things going our way, we were a bit soft,” Fleming said after the eight-wicket loss. “I can’t help but feel that we led them into the game in the first few overs and gave them a good start. They relied heavily on the openers and we helped their cause,” he added.

Robin Uthappa was dropped on six and on 24 before he went on to score a match-winning 67 helping KKR chase down 155 with two overs to spare.

“The nature of the loss was disappointing and we need to rectify that quickly. We dropped catches, we made a habit of dropping some key players in this tournament. It made us pay today, took the game away from us in very quick time. It was just a case of sitting back and minimising the damage,” the former New Zealand player stated.

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