Difficult to maintain the trend, says Gambhir

After winding up the Royal Challengers Bangalore for a paltry 49, the lowest in Indian Premier League history, the Kolkata Knight Riders, especially its bowling unit, has raised the bar. Gautam Gambhir, the captain, admitted it’s a massive challenge to keep up the good work in the remaining half of the tenth edition.

Gautam Gambhir, the captain, admitted it’s a massive challenge to keep up the good work in the remaining half of the tenth edition.   -  AFP

After winding up the Royal Challengers Bangalore for a paltry 49, the lowest in Indian Premier League history, the Kolkata Knight Riders, especially its bowling unit, has raised the bar. Gautam Gambhir, the captain, admitted it’s a massive challenge to keep up the good work in the remaining half of the tenth edition.

“It is difficult to set the trend, but it is even more difficult to maintain it. We have set the trend and intensity, now the biggest challenge is how we maintain it,” Gambhir said on Tuesday ahead of his team's clash against Rising Pune Supergiant.

Read: Knight Riders hopes to keep it going

“That was one phase and now it is up to us because we have set the benchmark and how much we can keep going forward. One game can be easily won, but doing it throughout the tournament is pretty difficult. People would be expecting us to set the same benchmark what we have set couple of days back. Hopefully, guys realise that and deliver it. (That's) what I expect from myself, so that is what I expect from my team (as well).”

Taking a cue

Gambhir realised that the challenge on Wednesday will be stiff. Not just because the Supergiant has marked a hat-trick of victories coming into the game but also due to the fact the Pune team is riding high on a collective effort. While Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, M. S. Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane have had at least one telling performance in the tournament, they are extremely well-supported by domestic performers including pace duo of Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur along with uncapped Rahul Tripathi and Washington Sundar.

Acknowledging the Pune outfit's effort, Gambhir hoped to imbibe a similar culture in his team's performances. “Apparently that is very good for the team because if everyone is contributing, it is a great sign for any team. And that is what we want in KKR as well. We don’t want to be dependent on one or two people, we want to be dependent on everyone,” Gambhir said.

“If everyone starts performing, starts chipping in because in the T20 format, there will be players who would end up getting one or two important wickets and there will be people who will get 10 balls 20. So those teams are obviously far more dangerous than the teams who are dependent on one or two individuals because that’s not an assurity that one or two individuals are going to perform in every game, but there is far more assurance of eleven individuals chipping in important situations. If Pune is doing that then it is a great sign for the team.”