New Delhi, May 8: After leading his side to the top with a comfortable win over Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir said he, along with veteran Jacques Kallis, will have to take the responsibility of guiding the team to play-offs.
Gambhir, who has scored 457 runs this season, led his side to the top of the points table with 17 points.
"If someone has to change the game, it should be Kallis or me. We don't want (Brendon) McCullum or Yusuf Pathan to change the game. It's our responsibility because we are the experienced guys," Gambhir said at the post-match press conference on Monday.
"You don't want them to stop playing their natural game. The guys like me and Kallis need to change the game and that is what responsibility and experience is all about."
Kolkata comprehensively beat Delhi by six wickets to emerge as table toppers in the IPL 5. With 17 points, KKR are almost assured of a place in the play-offs.
Gambhir said his team not only wants to compete but win matches. The left-hander also praised several senior players like Brett Lee and Jacques Kallis.
"For me, every game is tough and important. When I go on to the field, I just want to win the match. It's not about competing in the IPL, it's about winning every time. I always look to win matches because you don't want to go back to the dressing room on a losing note. You want to go happy and for that feeling to come, you have to win matches.
"We have some quality players in the dressing room. Someone like Kallis, who is such a legend of the game. Brendon McCullum and Brett Lee are also there. When you have such players, you don't need to motivate them. They all are thorough professionals. One thing important for us is that we need to play well as a unit," he said.
An aggressive batting style has been secret to success for KKR skipper Gautam. "I've been hitting the ball well this season. You need to be aggressive in your approach. You have to pass on that body language among teammates which is very important. As I mentioned before, you don't go there to compete but to win matches. For that to achieve, you need to be aggressive," said the opener.
With four more games remaining before the knock-out stage, Gambhir said every match is important and warned his team to guard against complacency.
"KKR still have a long distance to cover with four more games remaining before the playoffs. We need to guard against complacency. I am keeping my fingers crossed, just trying to give our best in every match.
"Till the time, I am leading the KKR or whatever team I'm going to lead (in the future), there will be no complacency. For me, every game is as important as the first game or the finals. That's what KKR is all about," he said.
When asked about opener Brendon McCullum's recent form, Gambhir said, "He has always been in form. In India, there is a problem, if someone gets a fifty he is in the form, if someone does not get a fifty, he is out of the form. How he's batting and hitting the ball is more important to me. It was all about contributions. Even in the last game, he got 40-odd runs and we got 100-run partnership, that's more important rather than individual scores. He has always been a key player for us."
An incident involving Delhi Daredevils batsman Mahela Jayawardene and Gambhir over caught behind appeal heated up between the two only for Ross Taylor to interfere and calm things, the skipper said, "These things keep happening. It was just a normal conversation, nothing serious."