RR vs KKR: "Let the players take the ownership" - Ambati Rayudu on Gautam Gambhir's role in KKR's stunning run in IPL 2024

Updated - 14 May 2024, 03:57 PM

Ambati Rayudu, Gautam Gambhir
Ambati Rayudu, Gautam Gambhir [PC: X]

Former India batsman Ambati Rayudu has explained the reason behind Kolkata Knight Riders' fine run in the ongoing Indian Premier League 2024. The two-time IPL champions have been the most consistent team in the 17th edition of the IPL.

They became the first team to qualify for the playoffs this season. With their game against Gujarat Titans getting washed out, they are also assured of a place in the top two of the points table. At present, they are at the top of the points table with an impressive 19 points from 13 games. 

With KKR looking almost unstoppable this season, Ambati Rayudu has explained how their mentor Gautam Gambhir has played a key role. Gambhir was a part of the Lucknow Super Giants' backroom staff for the last two seasons before joining KKR for the ongoing edition.

"If the coaches take a back-seat and work behind the scenes, and let the players take the ownership, and let the players have the freedom in order to perform on the ground, those are the sort of teams that excel, and that is what KKR has been doing," Ambati Rayudu told Star Sports on Tuesday.

Harbhajan Singh on playing for KKR:

Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh also shared his experience of playing for KKR in the past. He recalled how former head coach Brendon McCullum ensured a positive environment in the dressing room irrespective of the result on the field.

"When I was part of KKR, Brendon was there. Brilliant coach. One of the top guys I have ever worked with. He was so positive in that dressing room. Whether you win or lose, he remained the same.

"We lost about 6-7 games at the start of that season, and we ended up qualifying for the final. I have not seen even a single change in Brendon McCullum when we were not winning and when we were winning," said Harbhajan who also played for Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.

"He (McCullum) was just very humble, straightforward, and for him, everybody was equal. So that is what is very important to make sure the team is important. It is about those players going there and doing what they have to do to make sure they lift the cup.

"It is our duty as mentors or coaches to give them the best we can and keep them in good shape. Not just physically but also mentally because that plays a very big role," he added.

Meanwhile, KKR will be taking on Rajasthan Royals in their last league game. No matter what the result of the game is, KKR will be playing in the first qualifier. The Kolkata-based outfit is eyeing its third title this season and first since 2014.