IPL 2014 newsfile May 23, 2014

'I wanted to get rid of chokers tag' - Gambhir

ESPNcricinfo staff

Kolkata Knight Riders had been off colour in the UAE, experimenting with their opening combination and unravelling under the pressure of a chase. Two successive losses to Rajasthan Royals from positions of strength did not help their cause. But since then, they have constructed a six-match winning streak that has ushered them into the playoffs and helped dismiss accusations of frailty.

"We knew that we have the bowling attack to defend anything. But to chase has been my personal decision as lot of people have been tagging us as chokers and I wanted to rid of it," Gautam Gambhir said. "The five losses that we had were very close, we were not beaten convincingly. Couple of the games were very close and we should have won it. But this is what the format is all about and freak things do happen.

"One area of concern in the past was we have not been able to finish off the games. We have not been able to deliver the knockout punch, but in the last six games we have been able to do that."

Sunrisers boosted by Warner promotion
Sunrisers Hyderabad have a clutch of opening batsmen to choose from and that meant David Warner spent the majority of the campaign as a floater in the middle order. Since being asked to open, he knocked two successive and match-winning fifties to keep his team in the hunt for a playoff spot. His 90 off 45 against Chennai Super Kings was an example of how he could collar a match and win it on his own.

Sunrisers felt top-heavy in their early games and pushed Warner down to guide the team should they suffer a bad start, as Tom Moody, their coach, said. "Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We had the world's No. 1 T20 batsman, Aaron Finch, opening the batting for us and Shikhar Dhawan. Warner had to play a different role because we felt the left-right hand combination would be more formidable at the top. With Warner coming in at No. 3 and No. 4, it gave us depth and balance."

However, Warner's blitz on Thursday might have sealed that debate, said Dhawan. "I wanted to applaud every shot he played because he was batting magnificently," Dhawan told iplT20.com. "He was clearing the boundary at will and it was quite a sight from the other end. He has been in great touch this season. He is someone who has always batted freely, irrespective of his batting position"

'Heartbreaking that star line-up failed' - Mallya
Virat Kohli was upbeat that Royal Challengers had control of their fate at the toss against Knight Riders. However, a wayward bowling performance contributed to a loss that knocked the side out of the tournament. They struggled to generate a winning momentum and their vaunted batting line-up, which cost them dearly at the auction, could not measure up.

"I am sad and apologise to all amazing RCB fans for the teams poor performance in this IPL," Royal Challengers Bangalore owner Vijay Mallya tweeted after their loss. "It is heartbreaking that the star line up failed."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • David on May 24, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    @CricLover316. A good analysis of RCB. Vettori has never coached, & nothing suggests he tok charge & built a strategy for the campaign. Donald is not much of a coach at all - & that comes from a Saffa!

    The team kept doing the same things all season, failing, & not learning. Mallya clearly dominates, & was inflexible - he spent the money, he wanted the players to fits his ideas. or the ideas he has been sold! (Note that AB's best IPL inns was batting at number 3.) Captaincy took a toll on Virat, & it showed in his batting. The pressure must have been huge. He is too young, & inexperienced to tell Mallya to get out the way. Verrtori was clearly no help.

    Marquee names win nothing. Delhi spent a fortune on Karthik & Pietersen. Their best player was Duminy, @ 10% of the DK/KP price. Then they kept him down the order - like AB - limiting his chances to score. Like AB, he scored the team's most runs/best ave/best SR. And, both teams are at the bottom of the league!

  • Rahul on May 24, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    @Greatest_Game- RCB would've failed regardless of the captain to be honest.Incase you didnt know,RCB has failed most of the seasons in the IPL,because of Mallya's love for Batting stars-RD,KP,Kall,Gay,VK,AB,Y its always been more about building his brand than getting decent bowlers or building a team that has any balance.RCB had styn n vttori in 1st few seasons thats all I can remember,never had enough bowlers specially in these conditions to win them games.Check my points I made previously.Captaining an IPL side to win doesnt make reflect your greatness.Rohit has no idea about bowling changes(Poll to Dhoni in lst ovr needing 10,really?)Mallya made the most mind boggling purchases this IPL.RCB has not succeded to win the big one and failed to qualify most of the times,should we attribute to all the captains as failures? Look at the team. They just didnt have any depth in Foreign purchases,never looked beyond gayle,murali nor did they pick any decent Ind talents except chahal n Aaron

  • David on May 24, 2014, 1:10 GMT

    "I am sad and apologise to all amazing RCB fans for the teams poor performance in this IPL," Royal Challengers Bangalore owner Vijay Mallya tweeted after their loss. "It is heartbreaking that the star line up failed."

    I am sad that Vijay Mallya is unable to see that his captain has not succeeded, both as bats main and leader. Stop apologizing, and have a leader in charge of the team. The results are undeniable - Virat has failed as a captain. He is a brand star, but a failed skipper.

  • Rahul on May 23, 2014, 21:24 GMT

    I'm not the greatest of Gambhir's fans,but I like his intensity and Captaincy. Specially when he introduced Narine for his 3rd over so early and got Kohli,that killed the game right there. It was too much for AB and Yuv always struggles against Quality Bowling. It was impossible for AB,and Gambhir gave narine his last over to get AB,which ensured even if the last 3-4 went big,RCB wouldn't even get close. KKR's winning streak STARTED with Gabhir coming back to some form and Uthappa playing at the top. Like it or not,he has been inspiring under pressure situations. At the start,KKR looked to finish bottom 2,but now they've got a shot to be at the top 2. They've clicked at the right time. Teams need bowlers who can adjust to the SC conditions,KKR have great bowling resources,playing at Eden,slow and low wickets is just perfect for KKR.

  • Android on May 23, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    gambhir is taking credit for the wins i didnt see a spark in his captaincy nd his failure is covered by the win of the kkr team but never the less they are playing excellently as a unit.i think final should be between kkr nd kings nd kings winning the ipl7.nd i didnt heard about choking

  • Rahul on May 23, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    Also adding, Donald plays AB at 5 for SA in T20 and thats what we saw in most of the games here. And whats the point of picking Murli ? From the start we all knew, the batting was always going to depend on Kohli and ABD. Kohli got some unlucky decisions and played some decent innings,but didnt unleash his form from the WT20. He has had almost a flawless 2 years for India,so it was about time,he lost some of his form. Cant do much about it. Im glad this happened in IPL, after some rest he"ll back to his form when he returns to International cricket. Mallya deserves to lose this for more reasons than one. Should have shown some faith in local players. Baffled by the purchase of Dinda,Donald says he's one of the best Death bowlers. RCB's bowlers let them down conceding huge totals & hardly defending any totals. If you want to see which team is lying at the bottom rows in all the IPLs,you just need to know which team is Dinda playing for. And I'm not even joking,check it.

  • mohammad on May 23, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    KKR did the best thing by dropping Kallis.He is not an opener but he was doing the opening and prevented genuine openers like Uthappa to play in their real position.How balanced they have been after Kallis have been dropped.They could win a few more games if Kallis was not in their squad.

  • Rahul on May 23, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    @android_user- Yeah right. Blame Mallya for not picking good bowlers and only building the Brand of the RCB and wasting his purse on a single player.Also, persisting with an unfit Gayle,who always wasted the PP and denied the 1s n 2s most of the times,which makes the Player at the other end almost handicapped and always look for boundaries.RCB barring one game(Takawale & Patel) never got a good start.Rampaul was warming the bench while Dinda was jumping. No team can win a Tournament with 2 Batsmen,Leggie and a single quality pacer Starc.There was no balance in RCB.Yuv's 2 inn on flattest of tracks doesn't justify his cluelessness against Offies and Quality pacers since his return and his tag. Mallya cared more about Brand than anything else. Captaincy is fine,team balance is important(Under Dravid RCB were last in IPL1,dravid is also a bad captain then?) Trend of Mallya's picks is always batting stars,not 3-4 decent bowlers. Plus Donald loves Dinda, he persisted on Ab at 5 as he does

  • Madhu on May 23, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    Vijay Mallya deserves the loss. He should have recruited the Karnataka players like Uthappa, Pandey, Vinay , Gopal and Mayank. He would have won and also stayed popular with the bangalore crowd. Most Bangaloreans are extremely unhappy with Mallya.

  • Android on May 23, 2014, 12:38 GMT

    bring back local boys .like uttappa.and vinay nayar after see what will hapen

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