Yusuf: RCB bowling is not toothless

"No team that is playing on a big stage like the IPL can be said to have a toothless bowling attack or batting unit," said Yusuf Pathan, who scored a quickfire half-century, helping his team's win.

Yusuf Pathan's quickfire half-century set up Kolkata Knight Riders win.   -  PTI

After his match-winning half century for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Monday night, Yusuf Pathan insisted that Andre Russell and he were never overawed by the rising asking rate during their Indian Premier League clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) here.

Chasing 186 for victory, KKR needed 117 from 59 when the fourth wicket fell, when Russell joined Pathan at the crease. “We knew if we stuck around and played our shots, the target would not be too difficult to chase,” said Pathan, who scored only his fourth IPL fifty in six years.

“At one point, when I was settling in, Russell played really well, taking the pressure off me. So that was very important, that we played for each other. Once the runs started flowing from both sides, the target seemed quite small to us, to be very honest.”

Pathan did not belittle RCB's troubled bowling group. “No team that is playing on a big stage like the IPL can be said to have a toothless bowling attack or batting unit,” he said.

“They have some quality bowlers: Varun Aaron has played Test cricket for India, S. Arvind has represented India, and Shane Watson too has turned out for his country. They might not be clicking at the moment, but it is just a phase.”

Pathan hailed Gautam Gambhir's work as captain. “If you noticed today, Piyush (Chawla) gave away some runs in his first two overs (0 for 24), but Gambhir trusted him and gave him the ball again. And see, he picked up wickets (two for eight) in the next two. It is important to have a captain that backs you all the time.”

Meanwhile, Stuart Binny admitted that RCB needed a better bowling effort. “We're disappointed with the way we bowled tonight,” he said.

“We have struggled in the middle overs to get wickets. We needed to get Russell and Yusuf out if we had to have a chance today and it didn't come off. We bowled well in the first eight overs, but lost it from the 12th over onwards.”

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