Kolkata Knight Riders and Shubman Gill struggled big time in the first half of the Indian Premier League 2021 but have managed to turn things around in the second half. Kolkata won five of their last seven league games and even got the better of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator on Monday. Meanwhile, Gill has slammed 241 runs at an average of just over 31 in the second leg.
“Big win for us. When we were coming into the second leg not many gave us a chance of qualifying and getting to the playoffs. But the way everyone has played is tremendous and hopefully we will carry on the good form. I didn’t have the best first leg in India but I knew that I was batting well and just a matter of spending time in the middle, that was the conversation with the coach,” said Gill, who smashed 29 off 18 deliveries against RCB on a difficult Sharjah surface.
Kolkata will now take on Delhi Capitals in the second Qualifier on Wednesday (October 13). Delhi lost to Chennai Super Kings in the first Qualifier and the winner of this game will take on MS Dhoni and Co. in the finale of IPL 2021 on Friday.
Gill feels Delhi are a balanced side but KKR will still have an edge over Rishabh Pant’s men.
“They (DC) are a really balanced team as we see it and hopefully we will give another cracker of a game. This was our third match here and coming again here we know what to expect from this wicket and I think right now everyone is adjusted to how the pitch plays and the conditions. I think we would have an edge against the Delhi Capitals.”
Gill also heaped heavy praise on Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy who restricted Bangalore to just 138/7 after Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli put on 49 runs in five overs. Narine claimed four wickets, while Chakaravarthy conceded only 20 runs in his four overs.
“The first powerplay was totally against us but the way we came back with Varun and Sunny bowling in the middle overs was tremendous, getting those key wickets and building pressure on them.”