Kallis: ‘KKR should have bowled better’

Kallis said KKR should have bowled better to GL batsmen, especially captain Suresh Raina, whose 46-ball 84 swung the match in favour of the touring side.

Kallis did not buy the theory that his team, which lost two matches batting first, was not good at defending totals.   -  PTI

After Kolkata Knight Riders' four-wicket defeat to Gujarat Lions in a home engagement of the Indian Premier League, coach Jacques Kallis said KKR's bowling was not up to the mark while defending a total of 187 at the Eden Gardens on Friday night.

Kallis said KKR should have bowled better to GL batsmen, especially captain Suresh Raina, whose 46-ball 84 swung the match in favour of the touring side.

“They batted really well under pressure, chasing that total down. But I still feel we could have defended that total we got. It was certainly not one of our best bowling performances,” said Kallis in the post-match press conference.

On Raina's sparkling show, Kallis said, “Some players can rotate strike, some can hit big. Raina is a good all-round player. I don’t think we bowled as well to him as we could have done. Raina played really well to hold the innings together.”

Kallis, however, backed his bowling attack. “We don’t become a bad bowling unit after just one match. We will have some good game plans in place..We still have a lot of confidence. The boys are playing well with freedom. We haven’t been able to put up a complete game so far, but when we start doing that we will be a tough side to beat.”

Even while agreeing that KKR should have banked on its flying start to get a 200-plus total, Kallis did not buy the theory that his team, which lost two matches batting first, was not good at defending totals. “It just seems to be a trend that sides chasing tend to win more. I don’t think that’s an issue. We need to up our standards in all the departments.”

GL assistant coach Sitanshu Kotak gave a lot of credit to his bowlers for fighting back and restricting KKR to a sub-200 aggregate.

“The bowlers executed (the plans) really well from the under-pressure situation. Raina bowled two fantastic overs, one wicket for 10 runs. We knew we had bowlers (who) could stop players like Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan. It wasn't easy and I think they did a fantastic job.

“When they were 44 in three overs, the first thing (that) we were thinking was to see through the powerplay because we knew Thampi had three overs left, Jamie (Faulkner) had a few.”

Kotak said sending Aaron Finch to open the innings gave GL a brisk start and laid a solid foundation for the run chase.

GL pacer Basil Thampi, who bowled accurately to stifle the KKR batsmen in the death overs, said, “I got my yorkers from tennis ball cricket. I came here before the tournament, we had good practice sessions. I worked with my coaches and they gave good confidence to me. Also my captain (gave confidence). I didn't have any pressure to execute, that's the big thing.

“It's a fantastic feeling because the last couple of matches, we didn't do well. We didn't execute (our plans) well. We needed one good win, we got it today and are very happy to be there.”