Exciting to play against Steyn: Kallis

April 10, 2011

Kolkata Knight Riders’ star batsman Jacques Kallis is relishing the prospect of facing his tear-away South African compatriot Dale Steyn, who would open the bowling for Deccan Chargers, in their Indian Premier League game at the Eden Gardens on Monday.

“It would be exciting. Not very often do I get the opportunity to play against Dale Steyn,” Kallis told media persons on Sunday. He described Steyn as a fantastic bowler, but indicated that there was no need for a hype on any such personal battle in a game where the bowlers get only four overs in an innings.

“In the end it would be a game between bat and ball, a team game,” Kallis said. On his side’s two-run defeat to Chennai Super Kings in the opening match Friday, Kallis said: “We lost it, rather than they won it.”

Cruising at one stage in reply to CSK’S 153/4, the Knight Riders lost wickets in a heap, and needing nine from the last over, finished at 151/7.

“I think it happened due to lack of experience in our team. Everyone takes a little bit of time to settle down. Most of the guys have settled down well. Hopefully, the guys will learn from their mistakes and we will have a successful season ahead,” Kallis said.

Knight Riders coach Dav Whatmore conceded that skipper Gautam Gambhir should have batted higher up the order in the Chennai tie. “In Twenty20 cricket you should have a lot of flexibility. But in hindsight, maybe it was better for him to go up the order.”

Gambhir has drawn flak for coming in at number six and Whatmore said the left-hander would bat higher in the coming games. Whatmore said there was no extra pressure on the team in the absence of Sourav Ganguly, who has not been recruited by KKR this year. “We are more than happy with the current set of players.”

The coach said the entire team was enjoying playing under Gambhir’s captaincy. “Gambhir leads by example. He has been a wonderful contributor to the Indian team. And everybody is enjoying playing under his leadership.”

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