Kolkata Knight Riders suffered their third defeat in five matches after the Mumbai Indians comprehensively outplayed them in an afternoon encounter at the Wankhede Stadium on April 16.
After being asked to bat first, the Knight Riders posted 185 runs for the loss of six wickets courtesy off a scintillating century from Venkatesh Iyer that laid the foundation for the visiting side.
In the post-match press conference, the southpaw shared insights on his knock and the way ahead for the team. "Obviously, I am very disappointed because it is a team game and we have lost the game. My individual preparations will go on, but as a team, we have to think collectively as a team. I am pleased with how I played and how I approached the innings," he said.
"I have always maintained that runs don't matter to me, it is my mindset and my approach to how I look at the game. I am really happy with that, but as a team, we have a lot to work on, and hopefully, we will take back a lot of positives," he further added.
The all-rounder suffered a freakish injury in domestic cricket and missed most of the action in the last six months. However, he has bounced back in a commanding fashion in this edition of the tournament and is single-handedly leading Knight Riders' charge.
"IPL is my comeback tournament because I broke my ankle six months back, and it was a freakish accident. I am really fortunate that BCCI helped me and I spent around five months at NCA, and all the doctors helped me come out of this phase."
"Injury does not take a toll on your body physically but mentally as well. Coming back and playing on the field made me smile. A lot of doctors told me I would not be able to run as fast as I would, and that would make me really disappointed, but I am really happy that I am back on the field doing what I love the most and contributing to the team," he said.
The 28-year-old was part of the Indian side after his performance in the last IPL but has failed to capitalise on his chances during his stay with the national side.
"I just have gratitude for whatever I have, and I got an opportunity to play for India. I don't believe in losing the place and coming back because that is not in my hand. I never thought I would play for India when I played the IPL in Abu Dhabi, so that is not a part of my process."
"I just want to go out there and explore what I can do on a cricket field. As far as this season goes, Venkatesh Iyer is doing what is best for the team. The clarity of roles given to me is amazing, and I am just looking forward to executing that plan."
"One name worth mentioning here is Abhishek Nayar, and I have been working a lot with him. He has worked day in and out on my approach to the game, and I should credit this century to him," he further added.
The left-handed batter also heaped praises on the opposition batting unit and felt they capitalised on the powerplay that helped them win this high-voltage clash.
"The way Mumbai batted, I really felt the wicket got better, and the most important aspect of their innings was the start they got. In hindsight, we can talk about scoring 15 to 20 runs less of the wicket getting better, but we have to accept the fact that they out-batted us," he concluded.
Kolkata Knight Riders will now travel to Delhi for an away fixture at the Arun Jaitley Stadium for an evening encounter on Thursday, April 20, against the Capitals.