Kolkata v Hyderabad, IPL 2013, Kolkata April 15, 2013

Morgan made the difference - Gambhir

ESPNcricinfo staff

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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Paul on April 15, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    My MOM would have been Kallis. Geez 40 odd off 20 odd and 3 for 15 in 4 overs - can't beat that with just runs.

  • GARY on April 15, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    @ jackiethepen and Gambhir can't do what Morgan did, come in and sky rocket the run rate and clear the boundaries at will. Not sure what you're point is because no one's saying what Gambhir did was irrelevant to the final score, or was easy or a poor innings but it was Morgan's innings that took it from a average score to a very good one. Tbh when I first started reading you're post I thought it was heading to a point about Ian Bell.

    @GRVJPR LOL if it had been an Indian who'd played Morgans' innings it would have turned him into a national celebrity. If you knew even the slightest bit about batting you would know that the shots Morgan plays aren't slogging. Slogging is how Yusuf plays, clearing the front foot and slogging into cow corner. Morgan is excellent at manipulating the field and hitting the ball where fielders aren't, he plays traditional & reverse sweep very well, cover drives, cut's, pulls and hits straight down the ground, you know proper cricket shots.

  • david on April 15, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    GRVJPR get a grip we are talking about T20s his record in all countries where he has played,and will put his record with most of the top world players in this form of cricket.

  • John on April 15, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    @Foddy on (April 15, 2013, 9:50 GMT) Regardless of whether Morgan (or whoever) performs once in a blue moon (as our friend GRVJPR suggests) or does it consisitently is besides the point anyway. MOM should go to whoever was seen to have made the most telling contribution on the day regardless of whether it's a one off performance or a typical consistent performance

  • Pratik on April 15, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Sunrisers need to have Darren Sammy in the scheme of things and where is J.P. Duminy. Sanga needs a rest. Somehow get a good indian batsman in the scheme of things.Have someone declared injured on paper and get Mohd. Kaif drafted in the team. Was the highest scores in the Mushtaq ali trophy with a strike rate of 118. Not bad. He will stabalise the middle order.

  • Tony on April 15, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    Yes, totally ridiculous to give MOM to Gambhir! Morgan scored almost the same number of runs at almost double the rate. Kallis also scored significantly faster and dismissed the 3 top scorers very economically. For my money, Kallis or Morgan, but clearly not Gambhir. And GRVJPR's comment about Morgan only coming off once in 20 innings is just plain ignorant - he scored 51 only the innings before last.

  • Dummy4 on April 15, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    As a Captain i think GG should have given the award or shared the award with Kallis. It would have been a good gesture. Although at such high level it would not have mattered Kallis but it should have been shared.

  • John on April 15, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    @GRVJPR on (April 15, 2013, 8:44 GMT) It's not overrating a foreign player if he (whoever he is) deserves a MOM award. Kallis probably deserved it anyway but Morgan was the player who started to give impetus to the innings

    @jackiethepen on (April 15, 2013, 8:44 GMT) Swings and roundabouts there. I'm sure that if a certain opener builds that platform you milk it for all it's worth but if that opener gets out early on then it's because of conditions etc etc. Morgan and Kallis made the difference in this game. No one's saying Gambhir didn't do a job on this occasion but to lift the runrate by 1.5 runs in 5 overs was surely the turning point

  • John on April 15, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    @IndianCoolGuy on (April 15, 2013, 6:06 GMT) Think you're being a little OTT on Sanga , saying that it was him that cost you the game. Fair enough , he's not performing with the bat and his place needs to be looked at but Morgan and Kallis were the difference in the batting. When Morgan came in they were on 102 after 13.4 overs and when he departed (exactly 5 overs later) they were on 169 - so that means they were going at 7.61 when Morgan came in and 9.18 when he departed and 1.4 of the overs he was in were bowled by Steyn. They hit him for 15 which is no mean achievement. Chasing at 9 an over was always likely to be too much esp with 4 of those overs coming from Narine

  • GAURAV on April 15, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    MOM to gambhir was right decison . Too much of overrating of foreign players being done in this IPL. Also give yusuf chance up the order (who has 2 international ODI centuries in South Africa against steyn when allowed to bat up), Morgna is a slogger who comes good once in a while.