Kolkata Knight Riders coach Dav Whatmore has endorsed his captain Sourav Ganguly's harsh words directed at the team after their tame seven-wicket defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

At the post-match press conference Ganguly tore into the team, terming their effort on the field "absolutely rubbish". "If we play cricket like this we don't deserve to be in the semis. There are other teams who are playing better than us. If we have to get there first let us play better cricket and win matches," Ganguly said. "I don't mind losing, but we were pathetic on the field, let's be honest. I can talk, I can lift them up but they need to lift themselves."

The Bangalore debacle was the latest in an inconsistent IPL campaign, where victory has been followed by defeat in each of the last six matches. Kolkata crumbled from a position of strength, losing eight wickets for 57 in the last 50 balls of their innings, to finish at 160 for 9. The fielding effort was patchy, with Ganguly himself putting down a chance, as Bangalore finished the game with 17 balls to spare.

Ganguly took a dig at the Indian players in his side who failed to rise to the occasion on the field. "I can't go and field for them, I can't go and bowl for them. When I was leading India I had some serious talent to look after. That probably helped. Hopefully, these guys will look after themselves.

"Some of these guys need to look at themselves. They were just pathetic," Ganguly said. "They have to pick themselves up, there's no option. The entire world is watching, the selectors are watching... if they play like this, God help their careers."

Whatmore, speaking on Sunday, defended Ganguly's outburst as "perfectly understandable". "We suffered a big loss. Some emotions were shown, which is perfectly understandable," Whatmore told the Telegraph.

"It's not a blame game. The way forward is to improve in the areas we didn't do well against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. We should definitely have got more than 160 for nine. We ought to have bowled much better and, yes, been far better in the field, too."