Morgan made the difference - Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir may have been declared Man of the Match, but the Kolkata Knight Riders captain believed it was Eoin Morgan's busy innings that set up the team's 48-run win against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Eden Gardens.
"We always believed he [Morgan] is a class act," Gambhir said. "We thought of giving him some more time in the middle and thus pushed him up the order. He responded magnificently."
Morgan has scored 114 runs from four matches, which is only behind Gambhir's tally for Knight Riders this year. On Sunday, he was pushed up the order to No. 4 and he joined Jacques Kallis ahead of the out of form Yusuf Pathan after the fall of Gambhir's wicket with the score on 102 for 2.
"We had this thing in our mind to go on with the left hand-right hand combination which has worked for us and looked to do the same in this game as well," Morgan told IPLT20.com. "Jacques is very calm at the crease and I plan to keep it that way as well, which is why we had a lot of sensible talks in the middle. We were quite smart in what we did and it managed to come off which was quite nice."
The two batsmen added 67 runs off 30 balls, with Morgan taking 22 runs off the 18th over bowled by Sunrisers' allrounder Thisara Perera.
"It was one of those occasions were the bowler sort of missed his lengths and I got my way," he said. "It can happen especially here with a short boundary and with the ball coming on to the bat too well. I was glad I could manage to clear the ropes on a few occasions."
This year, Morgan has found a regular spot in the team's starting XI after not getting a game in IPL 2012. "Last year, trying to get into a winning side was very difficult," he said. "I hope I get to play as many games as possible for KKR this year."
Tom Moody, the Sunrisers' coach, laid the blame on his team for allowing Knight Riders to post a big tota. He said Knight Riders were a good side, but not unbeatable.
"Our defensive skills were never as sharp as they can be," Moody said. "It was not a 180 runs wicket but we allowed the hosts to put an imposing total.
"Dhawan's absence is a big setback for us. Without him, our batting is a concern. But I think our overseas batsman need to perform better than they are doing at the moment. We haven't batted as well as we can do."