Knight Riders v Kings XI, IPL 2014, final, Bangalore June 1, 2014

Sunrisers chase gave us belief - Gambhir

ESPNcricinfo staff

Play 05:20
Gambhir: Yusuf's 72 the turning point for us

Halfway through the league phase, Kolkata Knight Riders had only won two matches out of seven. Few would have imagined they would pick themselves up, win nine in a row and go on to lift their second IPL title in three seasons. After Knight Riders chased down 200 to win the final against Kings XI Punjab, their captain Gautam Gambhir credited his players for being able to absorb pressure and come up with crucial individual performances whenever called upon.

"A lot of credit needs to go to the entire team," Gambhir said. "I think they were ready to absorb a lot of pressure, and where we were after the first seven games, not a lot of people must have given us that chance that we're going to be here, lifting the cup. It's been unbelievable belief and contribution from everyone. Guys really chipped in when they needed to."

Asked what the mood in Knight Riders' dressing room was like after Kings XI had posted 199, Gambhir said he always felt they could chase it down. Knight Riders had extra belief, he said, after their chase of 161 in 14.2 overs against Sunrisers Hyderabad to seal a top-two finish in the league phase.

"This is such a ground where it's difficult to defend," he said. "You always have that belief, if we can get the target to five overs, 50 or 60, we can always win the game, and I think Manish [Pandey] played an unbelievable knock, supported by Yusuf [Pathan], and then guys chipped in, someone like Piyush [Chawla] hitting that very important six. I think 199, we always had the belief we're going to chase that down, especially after what we did against Sunrisers."

Pandey, batting on his home ground, smashed 94 off 50 balls to take Knight Riders to the cusp of victory. Having received the Man-of-the-Match award for his effort, Pandey said the IPL was a fitting end to a superb domestic season for him - he had been part of the Karnataka side that had won the Ranji Trophy, Irani Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy.

"We have got four achievements, and IPL is the cherry on the cake," he said. "I thought this was an opportunity to get runs. I've been playing here for a very long time, I think it was great scoring in the final game."

Gambhir said the decision to buy Pandey at the auction paid off. "When we picked Pandey, we had a lot of faith and trust in him. He has delivered when it mattered the most," Gambhir said. "Not many franchises would have continued with him because he had struggled with his form. But we always felt he had the talent and fearlessness to go out and play this kind of an innings."

He added that the franchise got the balance right at the auction. "When we went into the auction, we wanted a good bowling attack," Gambhir said. "A lot of teams might have thought of having a very good batting line-up in the T20 format. A strong bowling attack takes a lot of pressure off batting."

George Bailey, the Kings XI captain, was magnanimous in his praise for the winning team and for Pandey. "That was certainly a game worthy of being called a final. It was outstanding," Bailey said. "Hats off to Kolkata and in particular Manish. That was a hell of an innings. The amount of times we took a wicket and he hit the next ball for six, it was ballsy batting and it really paid off. Full congratulations to them, they really deserved it."

Kings XI had topped the league table on their way to reaching their first final in seven seasons, and Bailey said he was proud of his team's achievement.

"It's been an amazing ride," he said. "We've got a very, very special bunch of guys. We've got a wonderful feeling. We have had a wonderful tournament, and another great game tonight, so our boys can really hold their heads up very, very high."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anver on June 2, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    Normally very cool Bailey also felt the pressure for the 1st time in this all important FINAL !!!!! all credit to KKR's positive approach to reach that daunting target of 200, led by Manish Pandey the 1st Indian centurion in IPL history.... Saha's rapid knock also gave the life to this thriller after a sedate start by KXI...

  • Azizul on June 2, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    Those who are blaming baily are totally forgetting the replacement of sandeep was not made by him rather it was made by banger the coach. Why the hell you blaming this poor guy. Punjub fun forgot that last he has taken the wicket of suresh raina. Other wise they have n't been in final. In this match he also ran shakib out and turned the match on. Other wise match could have been finished two over two spare the way he was he hitting. His fielding was amazing. Bengaluru was a batting paradise and 200 is par score here. It was final match and only because of the pressure of final the match was close other wise kkr could have been easily won. Punjub was fab team and won the million hearts but cup winning is different thing. There were a number of players in kkr side who were involved in previous ipl title win and it's the experience and pressure taking ability that ultimately seal the victory for kkr. 210 might have been winning total in this ground. Match was lost in first 10 over o mach

  • Bhaskar on June 2, 2014, 3:53 GMT

    Poor Wridhiman! Nobody mentioned him even after scoring a magnificent hundred.

  • ESPN on June 2, 2014, 2:31 GMT

    The king IX punjaab deserves to win.The matches they played throughout the tournament ,no team is plaued in that way. This is an another example of difference between destiny and the labour

  • Rich on June 2, 2014, 2:30 GMT

    Bailey- You made a big mistake by picking up AWANA.You did not give bowling to Maxwell! Cricketing 101-A bowler who gives 30 plus runs in a over doesn't deserve a place!Rishi dhawan was a better option! Also you marginalized your wicket taking ability by taking Balaji on this flat pitch. Sandeep should have been in the team! Johnson had a brain freeze and bowled a half tracker short ball! Unacceptable. As a captain you should have told him to bowl yorker "only" which he was doing very well in that crucial 19th over! Your batting against spinners is pathetic! Your contribution baring 1 match has been mediocre!As a captain you failed to deliver! Just praising your boys doesn't mean that you can hide your shortcomings and pathetic captaincy!You ain't fit to be a captain because you just cannot play spin, let alone your bowling changes! 11th over you should have given Maxwell.One thing is glaringly clear that Johnson and Steyn are ordinary t20 bowlers in death overs!

  • Jagan on June 2, 2014, 0:24 GMT

    Gautam Gambhir and KKR fans owe it to just one person, that is, Anirudha Srikkanth. This guy was so nervous that he didn't even get his fingers anywhere close to the ball. You don't see this kind of catching even in high school cricket. He gave Yusuf Pathan the chance that he will be thankful to Anirudh the rest of his life.

  • Nadeem on June 1, 2014, 23:46 GMT

    i have to agree it was an awesome final and both team were even before that six from Chawla. I agree that this is my first experience of all Indian players taste in playoffs and final of IPL. Indian domestic players have prove that IPL is for Indian premium league not International premium league. Saha played an amazing big final innings but Pandey made a name of him self and can play for India in future. Big time batting under pressure. His 3 sixes when ever a wicket fall was highlight of whole IPL.

  • thomas on June 1, 2014, 20:44 GMT

    Bailey was inconsistent and a poor choice for captain. As for Gambhir he really did not contribute much to the team. It was Robin who carried the team into finals...

  • No featured comments at the moment.