After the Kolkata Knight Riders disappointing run in South Africa, Ashok Dinda, the fast bowler, has said the side would have performed better under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly, who was replaced by Brendon McCullum as captain for the IPL this year.
"Dada (Ganguly) knows us (the Bengal cricketers) inside out. He knows what are our strengths and weaknesses. Our performance would have been better under his captaincy," he told reporters on arrival in India. "He would have been successful in getting the best out of our players." With Ganguly at the helm Kolkata had finished in sixth place in the inaugural season, missing out on a semi-final spot by three points.
Dinda arrived with the other Indian members of the Kolkata squad, including Ganguly, Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Wriddhiman Saha. Kolkata finished at the bottom of the table with three wins and ten losses, though they peaked towards the end of the tournament, upsetting Chennai Super Kings, and then knocking Rajasthan Royals out of the competition.
Shukla was one of the key players in the late revival, holding his nerve to guide Kolkata to a tense four-wicket win over Rajasthan in their final league game. Despite the poor performance overall, he said Kolkata had reasons for encouragement. "We have to take the positives out. There were few bright spots like Brad Hodge and my form in batting," he said. "Dinda also did well with the ball. We have to count the positive aspects. There is a lot to improve upon and hopefully we will do better next time.
"It was just a bad phase and the sooner we recover from it, the better for the side. I feel we lost our matches in the last five overs of the innings. We have to tighten up to make sure that it does not happen next time."