Though still nursing their wounds from two consecutive loses, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) can bounce back in the remaining matches to finish among the top-two going into the play-offs of the Indian Premier League (IPL), all-rounder Chris Woakes said.
“Our camp is still upbeat. We have some important games coming up and we want to make sure that we win to qualify. We still firmly believe in the dressing room that we can go on to finish in top two,” Woakes said after his team’s four-wicket loss to Rising Pune Supergiant on Wednesday.
“We did not quite get going in the Powerplay. To lose three wickets in the Powerplay put us behind but we always tried to rebuild. When you keep losing wickets in T20 cricket, it’s hard to keep up with the rate. We were probably short by 15-20 runs. We were below-par and not an ideal score to defend on this wicket,” Woakes added.
If a team finishes in the top two, they make it to the final as they are entitled to play Qualifiers. The third and fourth teams are engaged in an Eliminator.
“It’s hard to take any positives, when you lose a game in T20. Sometimes it can be called ugly when you lose a game.”
“Probably, they could have cruised home a bit sooner. A total above 150 is not a huge score particularly here at Eden Gardens, usually a good pitch with a fast outfield. Par is round about 170-180 here. But we can take positive from the fact that we fought all the way till the end.”
West Indian Sunil Narine looked out of sorts against some exceptional swing bowling from medium pacer Jaydev Unadkat as they were down to 40/3 inside the Powerplay.
“I think he’s come off on a few occasions and got us to absolute flier. We also chased down some good scores and also he allows us to set some good total as well. He’s a good player top of the order. In case he gets 20 off 10 balls I would say he got us off to a good start,” he said backing the team’s decision to send Narine atop the order.
“The ball swung around a little bit in the first over.”
“You have to give credit to the bowler sometimes. To bowl a wicket-maiden in Twenty20 cricket, you have to be using them right.”
Woakes also rued the absence of in-form Robin Uthappa, who is nursing a hamstring.
“It’s a big void for us. He scored a lot of runs for us this tournament and is up there with the leading scorers of the tournament. Fingers crossed, he’s not out for too long and is back for the next game.”