KKR confidence high, but no room for complacency setting in

KKR confidence high, but no room for complacency setting in

A poor run or results left us a long way off the pace in 2012 and we needed a serious winning streak to play ourselves back into the tournament. We won seven matches in a row, and now we’ve done exactly that again.



By Jacques Kallis (Gameplan / Hawkeye)

Published: Tue 27 May 2014, 9:41 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 6:21 PM

We never witnessed anything quite as brutal or spectacular as big Yusuf’s innings against Hyderabad when we won the tournament two years ago, but in many other ways it feels amazingly similar.

A poor run or results left us a long way off the pace in 2012 and we needed a serious winning streak to play ourselves back into the tournament. We won seven matches in a row, and now we’ve done exactly that again.

It’s fair to say that confidence in the KKR camp is at an all-time high, but there’s no danger of complacency setting in. It was only a month ago that we were losing five out of seven so that keeps your feet on the ground. Collective and individual confidence is a lovely thing to have, but you should never, ever take it for granted.

After six weeks focusing on reaching the semi-finals, it’s time to forget everything we have done so far. It took a mighty effort to reach the last four, and a monumental one to make the top two, but it counts for zero now.

It doesn’t mean that people won’t be watching the highlights of Yusuf’s assault on the Hyderabad bowlers for many years to come — and they’ll still be blown away by it. That sort of innings was regarded as impossible five or six years ago, but we have been defining and redefining what is possible in every single year of the IPL. But that was an innings which will stand the test of time.

The big man keeps himself to himself and doesn’t say too much, and now you can see why. When it comes to cricket, actions speak a lot louder than words. He may have had a relatively quiet tournament but he is a game changer and it is quite obvious when you play alongside him that the opposition is always uncomfortable until he’s out.

I’ve seen many amazing innings in my career, but I’ve never seen ball-striking as clean as that before. I hate to rub it in for Hyderabad, but it was a painful reminder of just how costly a dropped catch can be.

Yusuf’s innings has given us the opportunity to progress straight into the final if we can beat Punjab again, on Tuesday. It’s good to know that we have a second chance against the winner of the eliminator game, but it’s a parachute we’d rather not have to use.

Before the last game against Punjab, I stressed the importance of having good plans for specific players, and we employed them perfectly. There’s no reason why we can’t do that again. The ‘secret’ weapon, however, isn’t a secret at all. It’s not Robin and it’s not Sunny Narine. It’s Eden Gardens and the people inside it. The crowd is the 12th player in our side.


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