May 27, 2011

Gambhir in doubt for West Indies

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir may not be able to play the entire tour of the West Indies after being diagnosed with a shoulder injury that could keep him out for 4-6 weeks.

Andrew Leipus, the Kolkata Knight Riders physiotherapist, submitted a report to the Board of Control for Cricket in India, in which he stated that the India opener sustained the injury during the World Cup final against Sri Lanka and aggravated it further during the final league game of the IPL against the Mumbai Indians in Kolkata.

Leipus also said in his report that Gambhir was feeling better before the final IPL league game but felt pain while throwing a ball from the deep during the game.

Leipus, who was also with the Indian team previously, further added in his report that Gambhir underwent medical scans in Mumbai before the elimination match against the Indians on Wednesday under the supervision of an expert.

Leipus stated in his report that Gambhir is advised 4-6 weeks of rest during which time he will not be able to throw or bat so that his should recovers completely.

Gambhir was to lead the Indian side in the West Indies for the ODI series after skipper MS Dhoni was rested along with Zaheer Khan and Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag was ruled out with a shoulder injury.

It is expected that Suresh Raina, who was made the vice-captain, will lead the team in his place. Gambhir's absence also means that India will go into the series without any of the regular specialist openers.

May 23, 2011

Gambhir draws positives from loss against Mumbai

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir said they have positives to take away from their final round-robin game of the IPL what if the home team lost to Mumbai Indians in an unlikely fashion at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

After setting Mumbai Indians a tall 177-run target, the Knight Riders lost the match in the last over when, needing 21 runs, Laxmipathy Balaji conceded 23 including four fours and a last ball six to end their round-robin campaign on a disappointing note.

Gautam Gambhir
But Gambhir was in no mood to be bogged down by the defeat and said they have many positives to take away into the playoff stage of the tournament.

"Getting 176 itself was a big effort. It was more than a par score and we were very happy with the total. Spinners and Brett Lee bowled well. We have positives to take away from this game barring the last over. Getting the total was a fantastic effort," Gambhir said at the post-match press conference.

"You should see the performance of every player. I can't mention one area, we have done well in all departments. We have more positives to take than negatives," he said about the Kolkata outfit's round robin campaign, where they finished fourth with 16 points (eight wins) from 14 matches.

Gambhir also defended under-fire Balaji, who turned out to be the villain for Kolkata towards the end.

"Balaji dismissed Kieron Pollard in the previous over. (The loss) does not mean he was not good. We have all the trust in him. I am sure he will comeback harder." Finishing fourth behind Mumbai Indians, the Knight Riders will now have to face the same opponents in the elimination round to be played in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Gambhir said they would have to do things in hard way from here on as even after winning the eliminator, they will have to get past the loser of the first playoff to make it to Saturday's title clash.

"It will be a different ball game in the playoffs. We have to do the things in the hard way now," he said.

Gambhir said in Sunday's match Mumbai played fearless cricket as they had nothing to lose.

"They (Mumbai) had less pressure than us. They didn't have chance to get into top two. There was no pressure on them so they played freely."

Gambhir also credited James Franklin and Ambati Rayudu for pulling off the spectacular chase in the last over.

"They are quality players no doubt. All credit to them. It is such a format that anything can happen. It was one of those bad days for us," the left-hander said.

New Zealand all-rounder Franklin, who earned the man-of-the-match award for his match-winning unbeaten 45 that came off 23 balls, said "We were just trying to get the ball over the rope. Fortunately, we got a couple of lucky ones. Rayudu played a hell of a shot in the last ball."

Franklin also credited the Eden pitch for staying firm after Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh had set the tempo for the run chase with their 57-run second-wicket stand.

"Outfield was fast and the wicket played pretty well. Sachin (Tendulkar) and Harbhajan provided the momentum. In the last couple of overs, the asking rate got steep but overall it was quite achievable," he said.

"A great feeling in the camp now especially after getting the confidence back following the hat-trick of losses," Franklin added.