Kings XI Punjab skipper Adam Gilchrist was of the opinion that Kolkata Knight Riders’ Eoin Morgan made all the difference in the end.
“I thought 150 was pretty competitive. The way Morgan batted was brilliant. Manvinder Bisla and Jacques Kallis steadied the ship and Morgan pulled it off in the end,” he said at the post match press conference.
“Morgan took up the challenge and all credit to him. Morgan was the difference in the end.”Gichrist, who hit his highest score of the season, admitted that Kallis turning up for the match surprised his team. He defended Harmeet Singh who went for a few runs. “Harmeet bowled beautifully in Delhi. It was difficult to grip the ball owing to the conditions. Yet, all our bowlers performed admirably.”
The KXIP captain also rued the fact that two dropped catches cost the team dearly. First Mandeep Singh dropped Bisla — a simple catch at covers when the latter was on one — and Bhargav Bhatt put down a regulation catch off Morgan at deep mid-wicket when the chase was on.
Gilchrist was in a jovial mood despite losing the game. When told he had scored his highest this season, he quipped: “I did practise more for this game than the other ones. I’ll have to keep trying. Everything felt good in the middle until that shot.” To a question on innovation by modern-day batsmen, Gilchrist said innovation had always been there.
“There were reverse sweeps; really hard ones. I remember Jonty Rhodes hitting a six with a similar shot in 1997. I was flabbergasted. I never chose to go that way. I was more of a hitter of the ball,” he stated.
KKR’s Bisla, who anchored the innings to perfection and ensured the six-wicket victory, felt it was good to contribute to the victory. “I worked and trained hard. So I got the result,” he said. “It is great to return to winning ways. It is important to get the momentum back.”
“If we keep on winning, we will be in the top half. We have the belief. The main tournament starts now. If we all contribute, the team will do well,” he said.
On Kallis’s injury, the opener said, “Kallis is a strong sportsman. Despite the knee injury, he still wanted to play and contribute to the team. That is why he is a legend,” Bisla said.
On the team’s batting, “Gambhir has been consistent; as a batting team, we are yet to reach the full flow,” he pointed out. To a question on Morgan’s innovations, Bisla said Morgan batted very well and changed the momentum. He took the pressure off me. His was a match-winning effort,” he added.