Gambhir: You will see the best of Narine this year

"He has worked on his action, he’s got the monkey off his back. He can go into the game with freedom knowing that everything is sorted," said Gambhir of Narine.

Sunil Narine (right) has been Gautam Gambhir's go-to bowler in KKR.

Ahead of Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) first match against Delhi Daredevils in the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), captain Gautam Gambhir said his primary aim was to win the title for a third time.

Gambhir touched upon various issues relating to KKR and its fans.


On new season: Everyone is excited and looking forward to a good start. I always believed if you can get off to a good start, it takes a lot of pressure off you. This is what we realised last year as well. We were at the top after 12 games and suddenly we slipped to number five. Hopefully we start off well and continue to do good in the entire tournament.

On Sunil Narine’s availability: He is not available for the first game, he’s only available from the second. I feel that he will be far more confident this year than last year. He has worked on his action, he’s got the monkey off his back. He can go into the game with freedom knowing that everything is sorted. The more confident Narine is, the more confident I will be with him as well. He was always under scrutiny. I think you will see the best of him this year around.

On tackling Carlos Brathwaite of DD: We don’t discuss individuals. It’s not only about Brathwaite but other quality players as well. We have to beat a team of eleven individuals to win a game of cricket.

On his chances of playing for India again: I have maintained every season that my goal is to win IPL each time and not to win a place in the Indian team. I don’t know about others. My job is to win for KKR and win the IPL. My job is to score runs for KKR and that’s it. I don't think about getting selected for Indian team. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow so I can’t think about the future.

On flyover collapse: It’s very unfortunate and should not (have) happened. It’s our responsibility not only from KKR’s point of view but personally as an Indian that if we could help the victims in anyway (sic). Personally, I will go out of my way to do it. KKR will go out of their way to do things. But obviously you can’t get the loss back (sic). We would love to do whatever we can do in our capacity.

I’ve not heard something like a flyover collapse in today’s age. Something happening like this lately is very unfortunate. I hope as a citizen of this country it’s a moral responsibility to help the victims.

On Bayliss’ success with KKR: A successful team makes a successful coach. He’s only successful because the people in the dressing room have made him successful. It’s the team that made him a successful coach. It’s exactly the same belief from captaincy’s point of view. Captain doesn’t make a successful team but it’s the players in the dressing room who make him successful. A lot of credit goes to the entire bunch of team in the dressing room who have made Bayliss a successful coach.

On Kolkata fans: Fans and people of Kolkata are our biggest strength. The amount of loyalty and emotion they have shown especially after the first three years, they have stuck to us, believed in us -- feeling sad when you lose, feeling happy when you win. We have the capacity to change the mood of the people and that’s what we’ve been fortunate. Hopefully we will be able to give them a lot of happiness and pride. This is our responsibility and the God has blessed us with. We can actually make the people of Kolkata happy by playing cricket.

On away matches: It’s not in our hands. We will try to make the best use of it. That’s all that matters. Don’t think too much about the schedule. We need to play good cricket. Did not have a great away record last year, played well at home. Hopefully we can rectify that this time. To be a successful team you have to play well both at home and away. Hope we will do well at both the places.

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