Bangalore, May 21: "Cricket is a man's game and not played by the boys. It's played the hard way and with the hard ball and these things happen in the heat of the moment," Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir said after an ugly on-field spat with Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli. But unfortunately for Gambhir and his team, "the hard way" did not take them to the playoffs in IPL 2013.
From defending champions to 7th this year, KKR's downward journey was not the best gift for their loyal fans. Gambhir might have emphasises on playing "the hard way" but that is not the only route to the top. If that was the case, KKR should have been in the playoffs.
In IPL 6, captain Gambhir will be best remembered for his spat with Kohli and also his shocking sledging of Rahul Dravid. Other than these two ugly incidents, people will not talk much about Gambhir and KKR.
Based on last year's title win, Kolkata got the right to host the final in 2013. But the Eden Gardens will have to find another team to cheer in the final on May 26.
3 reasons for KKR's failure to seal playoff spot
Misfiring Yusuf Pathan
Yusuf Pathan has the ability to smash the cricket ball long and destroy attacks. But his talent did not translate into runs in IPL 6. He found his touch towards the end but it was too late. And added to that, he became the first batsman in IPL history to be given out for obstructing the field - kicking the ball deliberately!
Gautam Gambhir started well but did not carry on with same form
Captain Gambhir began well with three half centuries but in the last 10 games he failed to cross 14 in 8 innings (2 ducks). Though he was the highest scorer for his team with 406 runs from 16 innings, he could not help KKR repeat IPL 5 feat.
No support for Sunil Narine in bowling
Narine took 22 wickets, replicating his previous season's form but got very little help from others including Jacques Kallis and Laxmipahty Balaji. Brett Lee, in his new role as mentor-cum-player, played only 3 games with not much success. Maybe they missed Wasim Akram as bowling coach who was with the team in previous years.