Kolkata Knight Riders

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Ravi Shastri: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Ravi Shastri foresaw what Sunil Narine did not see coming.

What he said:

“He treated the threat of ban as he views the charge of batsmen ­ ill-advised dashes which could only result in failure.”

Ravi Shastri comments as to why Sunil Narine failed to read the tea leaves and continued his suspect action despite being warned by the Champions League Technical Committee. The West Indian off-spinner and Kolkata Knight Riders stalwart was called again in the Champions League semi-final and will warm the benches for the final against Chennai Super Kings.

Shastri said:

“He might have been emboldened by a fresh set of officials for the semifinals. Or he might have seen the swell of support from his teammates as his validation. Once you are indestructible, you sense you are indestructible at all levels.

Narine now has cost his team its most lethal weapon for the finals. His international career for the moment is unimpeded, but he can’t be dismissive of the threat like he has been in the Champions League. He can’t allow this shadow to lengthen on the IPL door.”

What he really meant:

“Sunil, perhaps, felt it was a one-off or that he could do nothing about his action overnight . Besides, the pressure to perform and keep bagging wickets for the side is too much to allow one to think through the consequences of one’s action (sic). Just because you have a cheerleading squad rooting your every ball doesn’t mean you can chuck. Check that action, Narine.”

What he definitely didn’t literally sing:

“The banned didn’t see it coming.”

Gautam Gambhir: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Gautam Gambhir does not have flying pigs on his mind.

What he said:

“I think Sunil Narine will offer just another 12-second smile even if one day he sees pigs fly.”

Gautam Gambhir is certain that his team-mate Sunil Narine will meet both success and failure expressionlessly.

The Kolkata Knight Riders skipper is amazed that the West Indian bowler is none-too-perturbed at being reported for a dubious bowling action to the Champions League T20 Committee.

Gambhir writes:

“We were in the dressing room. I was waiting to see if his face reveals an expression. It didn’t. In the bus as we headed back to our hotel, I was still waiting. Nothing happened. At the hotel a cake shaped in numerical “13” to mark our winning streak was waiting for us.

 A cake riot followed but my man offered just a 12 second smile. Later in the night we were all huddled in our team-room on the 16th floor. The boys were having fun downing beers and chicken wings rejoicing our achievement. My expression-less friend and I were in one corner playing football on Playstation. He played a flowing game and won. I thought he’d exult but nothing happened except a smile.”
He added:

“Good or bad, success or failure, win or loss Sunil has never showed emotions. Therefore, when he was warned for a suspect bowling action after our win over Dolphins on Monday night, I was worried. I didn’t know how he would react. I kept observing him searching for a hint of disappointment, worry or the likes on his face, but his expression was consistent.

Indifferent.

I knew deep down he was hurt and his pride dented. No sportsperson likes to be nudged for unfair practice. Sunil is no different. He must have been simmering deep down but he didn’t show it to anyone. We had a one-sided conversation for about 40 seconds. I told him, ‘Sunny (Sunil’s nickname), I have full faith in you.’ He offered a straight face. I continued: ‘I know you are not resorting to any unfair practice.’He nodded. ‘Just don’t worry, the entire KKR team is with you.'”

What Gambhir really meant:

“Narine’s my match-winner and I have to make sure that he is in the right frame of mind for the upcoming crucial games. Tonight, I’ll have hogs fly past his window just to make sure.”

What he definitely didn’t:

  “I’m sure that Narine has nothing to say about being reported. It’s just one of those things that have happened in the past month. Perhaps, he feels he’s in exalted company. Or it’s just another hazard of the  off-spinning trade. Maybe, he’s a stoic. Possibly he’s been advised by his agent and/or lawyer to admit to nothing. I wonder if he’ll stop bowling in long sleeves now.”

 

Gautam Gambhir: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Gautam Gambhir

What he said:

“I have enjoyed when a gorgeous cricket ball declines the advances of my well-manicured cricket bat. But loaded with the perseverance of a sincere lover, my bat wins.”

Gautam Gambhir waxes lyrical on the value of practiced perseverance. The Indian opener confesses, that unlike Andre Agassi, he loves his sport.

Gambhir wrote:

“Whenever I look at the Gautam Gambhir in the mirror it seems tennis star Andre Agassi is reading out passages from his autobiography, Open. Agassi says he ‘hated tennis with dark and secret passion’. This is after tennis gave him identity, fortune, silverware, a few wanted and unwanted perks that a successful, young man is prone to get, later on a beautiful wife and most importantly adrenaline of being in a competition. But the fact is he hated his sport. You’d say either Agassi teamed up with the publishers to sell his book, or he’s just being cynical. Sorry, neither.”

Gambhir adds:

“Unlike Agassi, I love my sport. I can watch any game of cricket on TV. Even if the repeat telecast is for the 600th time, I’d be glued with excitement of a woman watching serials on conniving ladies. I might bat like a novice in the middle but I just love batting and its romance. I have enjoyed when a gorgeous cricket ball declines the advances of my well-manicured cricket bat. But loaded with perseverance of a sincere lover my bat wins. It then starts to caress, cuddle and later even lovingly thump its once shining lady.

But the real challenge lies beyond these dreamy passages. You wake up on a match day and you are in company of fear of failure. You turn on the shower and instead of water you have expectations beating on your body. You dress up but in reality you are wearing the image of a celebrity that the outside world wants to see you as – a champion or a loser.”

On Andre Russel, his Kolkata Knight Riders teammate:

“Even in the past he has been our Superman. On most occasions he’s dancing, grooving, laughing and when he gets bored he does all of these all over again. He secretly admits that he wants to dress up like a Jamaican but can’t do it as he’d stand out among ‘sober Indians’.

Amid all this, he is still a bloody good cricketer. There is a method to his power-hitting. Just recall his use of the depth of the crease while hitting those sixes against Chennai Super Kings. He does 100 meters under 11 seconds which I think anyone having a Jamaican passport does. I told him that his Mohawk hairstyle needs a bit of a mojo as it has flattened out. He just gives me a hearty Jamaican laugh as if to say, ‘No mojo skippermaan, my hair needs Viagra!’ Don’t be surprised if Andre actually tells me this one day.”

What Gambhir really meant:

“My love of the game is based on practice and perseverance. The more I persevere and practice, the better I connect. “

What he definitely didn’t:

“Now if James Anderson and company were here, I’d show them how well I’ve mastered their ‘Lady in Red’. For now, I love hammering the ‘White Widow’ on Indian soil.”

 

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