Kolkata need to show more fight - Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir, the Kolkata Knight Riders captain, has said he was disappointed to see a lack of fight from his team in the Champions League T20 and hoped a "bruised self-pride" would inspire a better performance against Perth Scorchers.
Kolkata were beaten comprehensively in both their matches, losing to Delhi Daredevils by 52 runs and to Auckland Aces by seven wickets. They now need to win their remaining two games by sizeable margins to have a chance of making the semi-finals.
"It is disappointing for me that a champion team like [Kolkata] could not turn it around. The teams that do this consistently leave an impact," Gambhir wrote in the Hindustan Times. "I have played all my life as a fighter without much support. And that is why it was disappointing to see the lack of fight in my team [against Auckland].
"Yes, Azhar Mahmood bowled a brilliant 10th over. Yes, he broke our backs. Yes, that changed the game for us, but I think we should have fought a little more."
Mahmood bowled a high-impact spell of 3 for 16 and then steered Auckland's successful chase with an unbeaten half-century.
Gambhir also defended Kolkata's decision to drop fast bowler Brett Lee and play the spinning allrounder Shakib Al Hasan on a quick Newlands pitch. Shakib scored 15 off 22 balls and conceded 34 in four wicketless overs. "The thought behind this decision was Auckland's inability to play spin. I still stand by that decision as there was moisture in the pitch and Shakib's deliveries were gripping and turning," he wrote. "But maybe, it was not our day [on Sunday]. It was Mahmood all the way. I think his elevation was also a good move by the opposition as they were out to negate our spin advantage."
Gambhir hoped his team would turn it around in the next game against Perth Scorchers in Durban on Wednesday. "[Scorchers] have a balanced side, but we have a bruised self-pride, which, I am sure, is good to put up a much better show in the next game.
"We haven't thought about the composition of the team as yet, but I am not a big believer in wholesale changes. I think what the players need is a consistent selection policy and a fair run."