Kolkata, May 21 (IANS) Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) assistant coach Simon Katich on Saturday said they would go into the encounter against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) focussing only on their performance rather than the end result.
The Knights are presently on 7 wins from 13 games in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) and have to win their home encounter at the Eden Gardens on Sunday to make it to the last four.
“Ultimately we know that if we win, we get through. Having a good run-rate helps and that is due to some good wins this season. We will be going into this game not worrying about the result but thinking about the process to win,” Katich said at the pre-match media conference here.
“We are playing at home and Sunrisers have had a good tournament but we feel confident given how we played against them previously but it doesn’t count for much tomorrow. What has happened in the past is in the past and that will be put aside and we start again fresh tomorrow.”
KKR’s West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell had to sit out their last game owing to a hamstring injury and Katich said he is likely to miss Sunday’s tie too.
“Andre was getting treatment from our physio about an hour ago when I left the hotel. So I am still not sure. He is probably going to miss out if he is not fit enough,” he said.
The Australian also threw light upon Umesh Yadav’s recovery saying, “The other one is Umesh Yadav who is making good progress but we won’t know now about his availability. We wanted to train this afternoon but it is not going to happen because of the recent rainfall.”
Earlier in the season KKR’s Gautam Gambhir-Robin Uthappa opening pair had given them brisk starts, but in the last few outings their willows have been silent.
“They have been a huge part of us having a great start to the tournament. The last couple of games haven’t gone according to plan but they are both very experienced players and know they do have a huge responsibility in that position. Good players normally respond to pressure and big match occasions,” Katich explained.
“This is basically like a final and I am sure they would want to go and do as well as they can to get us off to a good start. If they don’t, there are other guys in the batting line-up who have the opportunity to play well.”
KKR’s star off-spinner Sunil Narine has not been at his best after returning to competitive cricket with a remodelled action.
“I wouldn’t say he was off colour. It is a big thing to comeback from. He has had to remodel his action which has taken a fair bit of time with a lot of work. He has been fantastic in the way he has approached it,” the Australian said.
Katich also added KKR are well prepared to deal with Bangladesh speedster Mustafizur Rahman, who has been successful in the tournament.
“We spent a fair amount of time talking about him in the previous game when we played him in Hyderabad. The way our batsmen approached his nullified his influence on the game was great. The match situation was different because our bowlers did a good job restricting them to a decent score. That took a lot of pressure from our batting line-up,” he said.
“I thought our batsmen, particularly Gautam played beautifully and nullified his damage upfront and at the death. It is something that we have to do tomorrow.”