Kolkata Knight Riders mentor David Hussey heaped heavy praise on pacers Lockie Ferguson and Shivam Mavi following their 86-run win over Rajasthan Royals, which virtually guaranteed them a place in the playoffs. Ferguson (3-/8) and Mavi (4/21) ran through RR's batting line up reducing them to 85 all out in 16.1 overs.
"I think they complement each other well and our bowling coaches Kyle Mills and Omkar talk about bowling partnerships. Both Mavi and Ferguson have done that today," Hussey said in the post-match press conference on Thursday.
Hussey felt that Ferguson's first two overs where he dismissed Liam Livingstone and Anuj Rawat for low scores, swung the momentum in KKR's favour.
"Lockie is one of the best T20 bowlers in the world. His first two overs have changed the tempo of the game for us," he added.
The former Australian batter also praised KKR's top-order who put 171 runs on the board on a difficult Sharjah pitch.
"Playing on these surfaces is never easy. I think Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi showed their class and adapted their game accordingly," Hussey said.
When it came to the bowling, it was keeping simple - just bowl fast and hit the stumps. We have world-class spinners and it was very much a team performance tonight."
All-rounder Andre Russell, who missed the last two matches due to a hamstring injury, is not available for one more game.
"He had a fitness yesterday and maybe he is just a game away (from returning). He is pushing himself to be back on the pitch. He should be ready for the final, which is a big boost for us and at the tournament as well," Hussey said.
Mumbai Indians can still qualify for the play-offs at the cost of KKR if they beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by a margin of 171 runs on Friday. Hussey, however, was confident that his team can reach the playoffs and hopefully play RCB in the Eliminator.
"We are gonna watch the game as a group as we normally do. Hopefully, result goes our way. We are looking forward to playing the final against Bangalore," he said.