Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir said the victory in the opening match of IPL-VI against Delhi Daredevils was the “dream start” he had always aspired for, but secured for the first time in three years.
“It is very nice to start on a winning note. After two years, we have points on the board straightaway. We have not done that since I took over as KKR captain,” Gambhir said after the match on Thursday. “I feel pretty comfortable with the performance,” he said.
Praising the efforts of his bowlers, Gambhir said: “Restricting the opposition to 128 was a fantastic effort. Sunil (Narine) was outstanding, so was (Laxmipathy) Balaji and (Brett) Lee.”
Referring to Lee’s first-ball wicket, the KKR captain said, “there cannot be a better start to the tournament than getting a wicket up front.”
Gambhir said he preserved the eventual man-of-the-match Narine till the end of the innings with a specific plan that worked out successfully.
“The most important thing is to finish off well. It was very important to keep Sunil for the last three overs and get the momentum in our favour,” Gambhir said.
The team decided to field after winning the toss because they were playing on a new wicket. “We did not know how the wicket would behave. It was a new wicket with a bit of grass. We thought chasing would be more advisable in such a situation,” Gambhir added.
Daredevils captain Mahela Jayawardene said his team’s batting crumbled in an effort to “push for runs”. He said another 20-25 runs would have made the target more challenging.
“We just had to regroup after the first-ball dismissal (of Unmukt Chand). The wicket looked a bit slow and the ball was not coming on well. But after (David) Warner got out, we just did not get the momentum,” he said. “Now we need to analyse what went wrong and look forward to the next game.”
About his own good batting performance (a 52-ball 66), Jayawardene said he tried to adapt to the situation. “You have to keep adapting. The situation dictated a lot in the way I batted. That is the way it is... you should have a lot of faith in your ability,” he said.