Shikhar Dhawan: “Not feeling that great. We lost the game and it was not an easy track to bat on and I feel that we put on a good total. In the end, they played well. [Bowling Arshdeep in the final over] It was a great, phenomenal effort from Arshdeep, and the way he has bounced back from the last game, all credit goes to him. It was quite interesting that he took the game to the last ball so it was really good. [Asked about conceding so many runs in consecutive games] I feel that we don’t have a good offspinner. When left-handers come, from one end we have a legspinner and at the other end, we have a left-arm spinner. So that’s where I feel we are leaking a bit of runs. This wicket was offering turn as well so I feel that’s where we took the hit.”
Andre Russell has been named Player of the Match: “We said that the ball is gripping a bit. We just have to stick in there and hopefully, they miss their yorkers and miss their lengths. So I know once we needed 30 off two overs, it was very gettable. Even though they have good death bowling, the pressure with us swinging a big bat at the other end is always going to put pressure on the bowlers. So we always just back ourselves and are happy that the guys come together tonight and we did it. I flick one surprisingly in the stands tonight.
I didn’t really swing at it but I was happy that it went for six because we really needed a boundary at that time. To get those two sixes and really get us momentum going into the other over and cutting another ball for six over point really put the icing on the cake. There was a little chaos on the back end there with me getting run out wanting to finish the job. But we have a finisher in Rinku and I was very proud of him. [Asked about running on the second to last ball to get off the strike on the runout] When you have Rinku at the other end, I’m not worried whether I take a single or… He said, ‘Russ, what if the ball beat you, should we go for it?
I said, ‘Yes, sure!’ because I have confidence in him and the angle coming into him as well is a little easier because the ball was tailing away from me. [Arshdeep] was nailing his yorkers wide… So I’m happy. [Hearing the shouts of Rinku! Rinku! in the crowd] I get goosebumps seeing him doing what he’s doing now and I have company in the back end of this franchise. It’s not just me and pressure on me. If I get a single, I know what he can do. He’s been here for years and he’s worked his way to where he is right now and he still has so much more to give. Very disciplined guy, hard-working and he’s the funniest guy in the team. So you can’t have a dull moment around Rinku. I always try to be close to him in the changing room. He tries to be tough but we are good friends.”
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Punjab Kings Highlights today, Monday 8-5-2023. 53rd Match (N), Indian Premier League 2023, Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
“Wicket looks quite dry so we would like to put a good total and make them chase,” says Dhawan. He says that the impact player has helped them bat deeper and that’s helped them post 200-plus quite regularly. Says that it looks like the pitch will cause the ball to stop a little. One change. Rajapaksa replaces Short. Rana says he hopes the pitch doesn’t change much as he will be chasing. Says he would have also wanted to bat first. No changes for KKR
Toss: Punjab Kings chose to bat.
Kolkata Knight Riders team: 1 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 2 Venkatesh Iyer, 3 Nitish Rana (capt), 4 Andre Russell, 5 Rinku Singh, 6 Sunil Narine, 7 Shardul Thakur, 8 Vaibhav Arora, 9 Harshit Rana, 10 Varun Chakaravarthy, 11 Suyash Sharma
Punjab Kings team: 1 Prabhsimran Singh, 2 Shikhar Dhawan (capt), 3 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 4 Liam Livingstone, 5 Jitesh Sharma (wk), 6 Sam Curran, 7 M Shahrukh Khan, 8 Harpreet Brar, 9 Rishi Dhawan, 10 Rahul Chahar, 11 Arshdeep Singh
Head to Head In T20’s: 31
Kolkata Knight Riders Won: 20
Punjab Kings Won: 11
(last five completed Matches, most recent first)
Kolkata Knight Riders WWLWL
Punjab Kings LLWLW
Match Timings: 2:00 PM GMT | 7:30 PM Local
Umpires – Akshay Totre, Jayaraman Madanagopal
TV Umpire – Ulhas Gandhe
Match Referee – Sanjay Raul
Reserve Umpire – Mohamed Rafi
Match number – IPL 2023 – 53rd Match