Gujarat Lions’ veteran pacer Praveen Kumar said they were pleasantly surprised to see a grassy strip at Eden Gardens and made use of the conditions to grab a five wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders. Kumar swung the ball prdigiously and rattled the KKR top order. At one stage the Knights were struggling at 24/4. Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan then had an unbeaten partnership but the outfit were restricted to a modest 158/4 as Kumar finished with 2-19.
The Lions then chased down the target quite easily with five wickets and 12 balls to spare and with the win went back to the top of the leader board.
“We were a little surprised to see this type of a wicket. We were expecting the wicket to turn and bounce. There was a bit of juice in the wicket initially, with a bit of grass that made some difference. It was not green grass but it was grass nonetheless. We bowled in the right areas and got early wickets so it helped us,” Kumar said at the post match media conference.
Asked if the toss had played a crucial role in the Lions roaring back to winning ways after three consecutive losses, Kumar said, “The toss does not really matter. It does not matter if you win or lose. You just have to give your 100 percent. If you are really playing well you will come up in the table, just like Sunrisers Hyderabad did today (in the previous game on Sunday).”
The 29-year-old also credited the new franchise for having full trust on him adding that he always tries to give his best.
“My team has full faith in me. Raina trusts me a lot. But you see getting wickets is really not in your hands. One day you can get hit and the next day you may get four wickets also and win the match in this format. You always want to do well. But this format is very unpredictable,” stated Kumar.
The seamer did not want to comment much on whether he would want to make a comeback someday in the Indian team, following on the footsteps of veteran Ashish Nehra.
“I follow a very simple ‘funda’, I just concentrate on my performance. I work hard and try and win it for my side. That is what I do, my job. I don’t think about what other’s are doing or saying,” he said. (IANS)