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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Positive intent the key to KKR’s turnaround, says Iyer


IMAGE: Kolkata Knight Riders chief mentor David Hussey and young batting sensation Venkatesh Iyer are all smiles after making a final of Indian Premier League 2021, in Sharjah, on Wednesday. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Kolkata Knight Riders opener Venkatesh Iyer credited the side’s terrific turnaround in the second leg of the Indian Premier League to the positive intent shown on and off the field by the players and management.

After an underwhelming first half, in which they lost five of their seven games, KKR won all their nine matches in the second leg in the UAE to reach the final.

The two-time champions will take on Chennai Super Kings in the summit clash in Dubai following their three-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in the second qualifier on Wednesday.

“The brand of cricket that the KKR is playing, and by KKR I just don’t mean the cricketers who are playing out there but the entire management.

“The way we are thinking, the way we are going about the things, they are the real turnaround for us,” Iyer told KKR chief mentor David Hussey, in a video posted on IPL’s website.

“The intent we are showing, not just on the field but off the field, is that what brought us here,” he added.

Chasing a modest target of 136, Iyer smashed a 41-ball 55 and, alongside Shubhman Gill (46), set up the Knight Riders’ victory over Delhi Capitals.

“I wasn’t chasing 136. I just went out there to bat. I just wanted to play… first play six overs and see what the situation is. That brought the best,” he said.

Asked about Friday’s final against Chennai Super Kings, in Dubai, he said: “I am not going to treat it as a final or big game. I will just play my game and give my best and that’s what the entire team is going to do.”

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