Former India opener, Gautam Gambhir slammed the Kolkata Knight Riders’ top order for capitulating to the Chennai Super Kings bowlers on Wednesday at the Wankhede. While chasing 221, KKR stuttered to 31/5 inside the powerplay as Deepak Chahar took his second 4-fer of the season.
However, the lower-order batters Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, and Pat Cummins kept the run-chase alive with lusty blows. Cummins stretched the game till the last over but ran out of support from the other end.
Gautam Gambhir blasts the top order batters for not applying themselves properly on a batting-friendly surface at the Wankhede where Russell, Karthik, and Cummins combined to score 160 runs of the total 202 KKR managed to put on the board.
“The top order [needs to be blamed]. Eventually, they [the lower order] ran out of partners. It’s not that they couldn’t have chased this total but they just ran out of partners. If No. 6, 7 and 8 can take you this close then it really shows that there was no application. Chasing 220, there are certain venues like Wankhade or Chinnaswamy where you don’t need to panic,” Gautam Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo.
Gautam Gambhir recalls the 2014 IPL final chase of 200
The former KKR captain then talked about his side’s successful chase of 200 runs in the 2014 IPL final versus Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. With the help of a ton from Wriddhiman Saha Punjab posted 199.
Gautam Gambhir knew the pitch was a batting paradise and in the half-time break advised his top-order players to not panic and throw their wicket away playing rash shots. Manish Pandey, batting at number 3, scored 94 runs off 50 balls while Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, and Piyush Chawla did the finishing job to clinch KKR’s second IPL title.
“I remember in the 2014 IPL final we were actually chasing 200. And I got into the dressing room during the innings break and I said only one thing: ‘We will never be able to win the game in the first five overs but we can easily lose it in the first 5-6 overs.
“Even if we need 50 or 60 in the last five overs, even 80, we are still in the game. But don’t go bang-bang thinking we have to chase this in first 6 overs and end up losing 5-6 wickets’. That is exactly what KKR did today,” the 2-time IPL winning skipper asserted.