Gambhir's confidence, faith in core group paid off

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Published: Thursday, May 24, 2012, 13:01 [IST]
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'Yusuf struck form at the right time'

Pune, May 24: Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir feels that his faith and trust in 'core group of players' has paid off in the fifth edition of Indian Premier League.

Gambhir added saying that he instilled faith and confidence in the team so that the players contribute when there is a need.

"I said after we lost to Chennai at home and I say it now that we have a core group of players and I wanted to give them faith and confidence so that they could stand up to these kind of situations," Gambhir said.

Out-of-form Yusuf Pathan was included in the playing despite his poor-run, and Gambhir defends his decision on retaining the all-rounder and said he had a lot of faith in Yusuf and the all-rounder also came good against Delhi Daredevils as KKR won the first qualifier by 18 runs at Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium on Tuesday.

"People asked me why I am sticking with Yusuf Pathan and I always said that it was a matter of time (before he strikes form), and he has done that. I didn't want to keep chopping and changing. Whoever is there in the dressing room, is there because he has my faith and I back him completely."

With 153 runs off 15 matches in IPL 5, Yusuf Pathan scored an unbeaten 40 off 21 balls which included 2 sixes and 3 boundaries against Delhi Daredevils to help Kolkata accelerate the run flow and post 162/4 in 20 overs alongwith Laxmi Ratan Shukla who joined hands to set a challenging target.

Gambhir praised the all-rounder's effort and said such contributions do matter than scoring a big one.

"It's a matter of handling pressure. Like Pathan today, Manoj Tiwary played his part against Mumbai. Shukla comes up with his batting and Rajat Bhatia with his medium pacers at a good economy rate. It is small contributions like these that matter, not one big knock," Gambhir said on Tuesday.

Gambhir, the highest run-scorer for Kolkata in IPL 5, with 588 runs off 16 matches,at an average of 39.20 said he need not prove his worth in the orgamisation,

"Who do I have to prove to? No one. The only people who I have to prove anything to are sitting in my dressing room. If my colleagues believe that I have done an honest job and given my best, that's enough for me," he said.

"It of the tournament that if we play to our potential we would be the team beat. I say now, we are the team to beat."


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