‘Boucher’s experience will help us’


Kolkata Knight Riders’ campaign has received a boost with the arrival of South African wicket-keeper Mark Boucher, whose experience of playing on the sub-continent pitches will come in handy during the ongoing Indian Premier League, believes coach Dav Whatmore.

“Boucher is a very experienced campaigner. He has got a lot of experience of the sub-continent which is equally important. He can fit into any role whether on the top or in the middle. He comes as a highly qualified player and we have this opportunity to have Mark for rest of the season. We are looking up to him to give his best,” Whatmore told reporters at a pre-match conference here.

Boucher has come as a replacement for the injured Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, whose IPL campaign was cut short after a fracture was detected in his finger.

An MRI last week in Delhi revealed that the injury he sustained during Australia’s series in Bangladesh had not healed.

Boucher had represented Vijay Mallya-owned Royal Challengers Bangalore in the previous editions.

Gautam Gambhir-led Kolkata Knight Riders will meet Kumar Sangakkara skippered Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium tomorrow.

Having reached the second position on the points table with five wins out of eight matches, the Kolkata outfit is confidence personified and Whatmore said they would look to continue winning momentum.

“We are looking to continue and win as many games as possible. There is still a lot of cricket to be played in the competition. Slipping up is really not on the agenda like any other team. We lost some games too but we are back to the winning ways. We would like to continue in the similar fashion,” said Whatmore.

The coach added that the team can play on any surface with some quality players in its rank.

The high-profile line-up of batsmen led by Gambhir includes all-rounder Jacques Kallis, Yusuf Pathan and Manoj Tiwary, all of whom have been in decent touch.

The bowling too looks formidable with an in-form Brett Lee spearheading the pace attack rather well with Laxmipathy Balaji as an able support.

“I think we have got an extremely good side which is capable of being very competitive on any given surface,” he said.

When asked about how crucial would be winning the toss, the coach said, “I don’t think it will play any role. We got to play well in the first innings and the second innings.”

Whatmore had a word of praise for in-form batsman Manoj Tiwary, who came up with some match-winning knocks in the ongoing fourth season.

“I am happy for Manoj. Possibly, for the first time in four years of IPL, he does not have to worry about selection.”

Meanwhile, Deccan Chargers coach Darren Lehman expressed disappointment over his team losing some close matches and hoped to come out good in the coming games.

Deccan have played eight matches so far and managed to win only three of them. The roller-coaster campaign puts them in the lower half of the points table with six points.

“After the end of three home games, we would know where we are. We want to get at least two wins if not all three. We just got to play good cricket. We have played good cricket in patches. Run rate is positive. We just lost close matches, which is frustrating as a coach some times. But the guys are working hard. We just got to finetune a few things,” he said.

Asked whether the team lacked consistency, the coach said, “Yes we played up and down. We got the right game plans and the right players and it’s a case of execution.”

The coach also hinted at some changes in the squad for tomorrow’s game.

“Michael Lumb and Juan Theron stand a chance of playing tomorrow. When we are not winning, we look for changes and we will look at that. We will pick the best side for a particular game,” he added.

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This post was submitted by prashant agarwal.

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