Kolkata Knight Riders bottom place finish in the second edition of the Indian Premier League notwithstanding, newly-appointed coach Dav Whatmore today said the Shah Rukh Khan-owned side was certainly not a team to be the laggards in the high profile Twenty20 event.
“KKR have all the ingredients to do well in IPL III. KKR is certainly not a side to finish last. In order to escalate in the ranking, combination of a number of things is important. We do have a group of players to form a good side,” said Whatmore in his first media interaction after replacing countrymate John Buchanan at the Eden Gardens here.
“I am confident that players in the group have it in them to make a big impact. The main thing is confidence and the game is as such where you cannot go in with double thoughts.
“The role of a coach is always evolving. It changes from group to group and it is helpful to know each other’s boundary,” he said.
The 1996 World Cup winning Sri Lankan coach said even though the format of Twenty20 cricket is different, the basics of the game remains the same.
“Games do change but nothing really changes in the sense of players. Principles leading up to a game do not change much. The ultimate thing which is required is everything should be done in conjunction with the captain,” Whatmore said.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said Whatmore knows the sub-continental conditions and the players’ mindset which would be an asset for the side.
“Dav and I have to work together along with the support staff to get things in place. He is very much aware of the sub-continental condition and players’ mindset. We need to execute plans which is the most important and decisive factor,” said Ganguly.
“If there are any issues, we would settle it out among ourselves. We have the team and need to plan it as and when the tournament starts. What is important is a healthy atmosphere where players have a free mind in this tough and hectic competition,” added Ganguly.
With KKR set to miss Australian captain Ricky Ponting who would be busy with the series against New Zealand, Ganguly said, “We would be missing Ricky Ponting about eight to nine games but in the end we need to focus on players who would be available full time for the entire season.”
The KKR will have a short camp next month before they assemble in January to pick the squad for the third edition of the Twenty20 extravaganza that will be held from March 12 to April 25.