A ‘gambhir’ Gautam leads from the front: He is the ‘skipper of the moment.’ Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper, Gautam Gambhir has shown a lot of grit and determination in leading from the front, marshalling his resources and taking the battle right into the enemy camps.
Gautam Gambhir has successfully led his team to 6 victories out of the 8 games played thus far in the league stage and KKR is occupying the numero uno position on the points table with 12 points and a very healthy Net Run Rate of +1.153, way ahead of the second placed Mumbai Indians (MI). Both teams have played equal number of games and that’s a fair comparison.
With a tally of 305 runs from eight innings, at a very healthy average (by T20 standards) of 50.83, with an unbeaten 76* runs as his personal best, Gautam Gambhir leads the table of top run-getters with the ORANGE CAP sitting proudly on his head, as of now. He also has notched up three half tons.
It would be interesting to note that he was involved in a record breaking unbroken partnership of 184* runs for the first wicket alongwith his opening partner, Chris Lynn (93*), when KKR defeated Gujarat Lions (GL) by 10 wickets in their tournament opener.
Gautam Gambhir’s captaincy skills were ‘put to test’ in all the games that KKR played, thus far, but his best captaincy acumen came to the fore when, playing against the ‘star-studded’ and ‘power-packed’ team, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), he succeeded in defending his team’s paltry score 131 runs and restricted the opposition to a mere 49 runs, a record for the lowest tally in IPL.
An aggressive Gautam Gambhir on the field, displayed his aggressiveness in the dressing room, as well. Disgusted at the team’s batting failure in the game against RCB, he spoke tough to the boys at the innings break.
Writing in his regular column in Hindusthan Times, Gautam Gambhir stated, “I wanted intensity from my team-mates. I wanted them to fight. I wanted them to win. I told them whoever dropped on intent should understand that this could be his last game for KKR, at least in my captaincy.”
These tough and strong words worked wonders and his trusted bowlers, Coulter de Nile, Chris Woakes and Grandhomme, picked up 3 wickets each and restricted the opposition to a mere 49 runs.
In the last evening’s game against Royal Pune Supergiant (RPS), played at Pune, set to chase 182 runs for a win, KKR did in style reaching the target in 18.1 overs and losing just 3 wickets in the process, with 11 balls to spare.
Gautam Gambhir (62) had an important role to play as he and Uthapa (87) added 158 runs for the second wicket in 14.1 overs, literally putting their team at the door-step of victory.
Giving credit to his bowlers in restricting RPS to 181 runs, speaking at the post-match presentation, Gautam Gambhir said, “I thought we are a good chasing side and we are confident chasing anything. Restricting the opposition to 180 was terrific and the credit needs to go to the bowlers.”
“It’s good to keep contributing, I keep saying Orange Cap does not matter if you don’t have points as a team. But it is good to score runs and when you are, score as much as you can. All the spinners bowled really well. We’ve got a hectic schedule, we go back tonight and play on the 28th which is a 4 pm game, so we wanted Coulter-Nile to remain fit,” Gautam Gambhir added.
Now KKR go back to their home turf, Eden Gardens, and take on Delhi Daredevils (DD) on 28th April, 2017.
Gautam Gambhir has been reassuring the KKR theme, ‘KORBO, LORBO, JEETBO RE’