Indian Premier League 2010 April 4, 2010

Kolkata wary of a Punjab backlash

Sourav Ganguly, the Kolkata Knight Riders captain, draws confidence from the win against Deccan Chargers, but is not taking the under-fire Kings XI Punjab lightly

It's time to get over the euphoria of a win and focus ourselves for the next match. As a team we are eyeing a place in the semifinals and so need to focus very much on the next game. We have started well in the second leg of the tournament and need to keep the momentum going, if we are to reach our desired target. We have the necessary batting power at the top, but we need to fire consistently as a unit.

Kings XI Punjab are down and out. Currently, they have nothing to lose and will be mentally very free. They may not be having a future in this tournament but in order to redeem themselves, they might be hurting others cause. So we need to be on our toes.

The wicket at the Eden Gardens was a beauty on Thursday. Not like some others at few venues, where getting a chance to bat second was as good as getting on with the work, having signed the death warrant. That it was a good wicket for an exciting Twenty20 game was amply proved, by the fact that Deccan could stay on the hunt for a win till about the fifteenth over.

It was definitely a good toss to win and it was even better the way we started off. We were pumped up as a unit. It happens on certain days, one starts getting the signal from the mind, that nothing can go wrong on the day. The two fours in the first over of our innings set the tone for the match.

There will be days when there will be a flurry with the bat. But in this format of the game, even a quick 30 runs in about 20 odd balls is worth its weight in gold. As a team, we need to find this balance, of few batters going after the bowling and few pitching in to play the crucial anchor role.

Our bowlers have been our strength in this tournament and bowled their heart out against big-hitters like Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist. These are guys who can take away a match from the opponent in a matter of few overs.

We are almost settled as a team and would like to hit the right momentum in the next few matches. Brendon McCullum has joined us, and now the team management has every weapon at its disposal. This is an important phase of the tournament. We have to strike the right balance straight away, become a well-oiled unit and get the right momentum to take us to our first desired target, a win at home on Sunday.

(Professional Management Group)

Sourav Ganguly led India in 49 Tests between 2000 and 2005, winning 21