Chennai, May 26: Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir, conceding that the Chennai Super Kings will enjoy the home advantage in the Indian Premier League final here Sunday, backed himself and his team to win their maiden trophy.
Gambhir, playing in his first IPL final like his team, asserted that the least they could do was to win it for the fans.
“You do not walk on to the field to play as an individual and we play for Kolkata’s people who have been a fantastic support to our team. When we walk tomorrow we will give our hundred percent.”
“KKR is not one or two individuals but it is about the millions of people who have been supporting us back home. They supported us in all our bad times. They have always been praying for us. Hopefully, we can try and win the title and give them the joy and Kolkata is always known as a City of Joy,” said Gambhir.
The Knight Riders captain admitted that the task before his team was tough.
“No doubt that they (Super Kings) are playing in their backyard. They have been two times winners and they know how to play the final match.
On his style of captaincy, Gambhir, typically, shot from the hip saying he liked to be aggressive and complete the job.
“When you go on to the field, you do not go there to make friends, but you are there to get the results in your team’s favour. You have to be aggressive on the field and that is how we have won matches. Now we are in the final and not to just compete.
Queried about Knight Riders’ chances, Gambhir asserted that every team goes into the game with an even chance to win and the same applied to his side.
M.S. Dhoni, having led the Super Kings to the fourth final in five seasons, believed that it was a matter of playing to one’s potential and a lot depended on how a team reacts to pressure.
“Result is something you get depending on what you do in those three to three and a half hours of play and how individuals adopt to the conditions.
“It will be a high pressure scenario. Tomorrow being the final match, there will be added pressure on each and every individual in the teams. How individuals react to the situations will be the key to success,” he noted.
Asked to comment on Gambhir’s captaincy, Dhoni referred to his on-field aggression.
“Gautam is an aggressive captain, a bit different from me in the sense that if you see our side, we are aggressive but not expressive on the field. That has been the strength of Chennai Super Kings.
“But Gautam is very expressive on the field. Even when the match is in his pocket, he demands the individuals perform and wrap the game in the best possible manner. That is where his strength lies. He has done really well with the Kolkata Knight Riders,” Dhoni said.
On his own team’s development over the seasons, Dhoni said the fielding has gone up a few notches and this was a result of hours of training.
“Overall, our fielding has improved. Right from the first edition, we have been constantly working on our fielding. That department is very crucial. Now we are proud of the fact that we are very good fielding side,” he said.
On his team’s strategy for the final, Dhoni said: “The planning and strategy are the same. It does not go always in your way in the sense that when you execute your plans, you have to execute it in particular departments.
“Usually, it refers to bowling and batting department and the fielding is not negotiable. Whatever the reason may be, we could not execute our plans, but in the play-off matches, we have done quite well in all the three departments. Those are the main reasons that we have done well in the last two games,” he said.
Dhoni had a word of praise for opener Murali Vijay whose knock of 113 on Friday against the Delhi Daredevils was the cornerstone of Super Kings’ victory.
“Vijay is a very talented cricketer. When he started for us, he did not do really well and in between, we gave him rest for quite a few games. We told him that we want Murali Vijay to bat and we do not want any other batsman to start for us.”