Updated April 13th, 2024 at 20:42 IST

'I know that what impact he can create': Gautam Gambhir backs out-of-form player

Gambhir, who was Lucknow Super Giants’ mentor in last two seasons, has returned to his former team that won two titles during his previous stint as captain.

Gautam Gambhir | Image:KKR
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Kolkata Knight Riders mentor Gautam Gambhir defended Mitchell Starc's recent bowling performance in the IPL, stating that a few poor outings don't diminish his skills as a bowler. Starc, the Australian left-arm pacer acquired by the franchise for a staggering Rs 24.75 crore, has managed just two wickets in four matches at an average of 77, conceding 11 runs per over.

Despite Starc's underwhelming numbers, Gambhir remained supportive, asserting, "It (his poor stats) doesn't matter, T20 cricket is all about bowlers getting smashed. We've got three wins out of four." As KKR prepared to face Lucknow Super Giants, he emphasized the significance of team victories over individual statistics. Gambhir commented, "Ultimately, it's the team's success that counts. With three wins already, I'm satisfied with the overall team performance." He also acknowledged that every player has both good and bad days, reinforcing the team's collective focus on winning.

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"And we've got decent results in the first four games of the competition. And we all know that how big a threat Mitchell Starc is. Four games doesn't make him a bad bowler. And four good games doesn't make him a brilliant bowler either. So I know that what impact he can create and what impact he will create in the competition.” Gambhir further said the Aussie will create an "impact" going forward.

"Tomorrow it might be a completely different day. Or probably going forward, it could be a completely different day. An individual can have a brilliant performance and the team doesn't end up winning. There's no reason why you should talk about individual performance. I feel that Mitchell Starc has done reasonably okay. I think he's bowled some tough overs. And he will create an impact, what he's been picked for," he said.

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A new start for Gambhir

Gambhir, who was Lucknow Super Giants’ mentor in last two seasons, has returned to his former team that won two titles (2012 and 2014) during his previous stint at KKR from 2011-17. KKR could never win against LSG in three attempts while Gambhir was at the opposition dugout. Gambhir said it's a new day and they would start from scratch.

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"It's a new day, new start. What difference does it make that what has happened in the last two years? It really makes no difference. We start from scratch.

"All of us are really looking forward to the game tomorrow. You know, it's a quality side. But we are a quality side as well,” he said.

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Gambhir further reacted to criticism about their head coach Chandrakant Pandit’s "militant style" of functioning.

"I don't read a lot about what has been said and stuff, but it's been early days. My working relationship with him has been really, really good and hopefully it continues that way.

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“He's been very successful in domestic cricket and that's why he got this opportunity, so far it's been really good working with him.” Former KKR all-rounder David Wiese had earlier described Pandit as a strict disciplinarian and a “militant-type” coach. 

(With PTI inputs)

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Published April 13th, 2024 at 20:42 IST