Expressing disappointment at his team’s loss against Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders Captain Gautam Gambhir said it was the batsmen who should be blamed as they failed to achieve a modest target.

“Yes I am very disappointed. 145 was always chaseable because it was very good wicket to bat on. I feel our bowlers did a fantastic job by restricting the hosts to 144 but we batted poorly,” said Gambhir at the post match press conference.

Defending a total of 144, the Royals’ pace attack performed well to bundle out the defending champions for 125 in 19 overs in their Pepsi IPL match here last night.

Gambhir said his batsmen got out playing bad shots.

“I feel they were bad shots. It was a good wicket and the outfield was also very fast. The bowlers had done their job but the batsmen failed in their role. We could not build up good partnerships. We can’t keep on repeating such mistakes.

We have to learn from them.”

Gambhir himself got out to a reckless shot off Siddharth Trivedi’s bowling and the skipper admitted his mistake.

“I am not one of those who beat around the bush. I also played a bad shot. But we have to learn from such mistakes. We can’t afford such type of performance as defending champions.

“We had worked hard to become champions in the previous edition of the tournament. I would say it was not cricket and we did not play like champions. We have now little time left and have to leave for Bangalore and then have to play with little time in between the matches,” he said.

Gambhir said he always asks his batsmen to play positive and smart cricket.

“I always tell them to be positive and play fearless but smart cricket. We can’t lose 6-7 wickets early and expect to win.”

The skipper, however, refused to believe that as defending champions, KKR was under pressure.

“No there is no pressure. It is a great fun. We had worked hard to become the champions last year. I tell my boys if every other team is looking to beat us we too are looking to defeat everyone else,” Gambhir insisted.

Heaping praise on Eoin Morgan, who played a fine knock of 51 off 38 balls, Gambhir said, “He played a fine innings and we had thought that he would do it for us. He has been fantastic finisher for England and we expect him to do it more often here too.

“His batting was a big positive from this match and I hope he carries forward this confidence”.

Statistical Highlights: (Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals)

# Kolkata Knight Riders (125) have registered their lowest total against Rajasthan Royals at the IPL.

# Rajasthan Royals have won 39, lost 34 and tied one out of 74 played at the IPL - winning % 53.37.

# At Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur, Rajasthan have posted their third win in four IPL matches against Kolkata.

# Both Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals have won five games each against each other out of eleven contested the IPL (Tied 1).

# Rajasthan Royals became the second team after Sunrisers Hyderabad to register wins in both their games at the IPL 2013.

# Siddharth Trivedi (3/23) has recorded his best bowling figures against Kolkata Knight Riders at the IPL. His wicket-aggregate of 56 wickets at 27.71 runs apiece in 61 games is the second highest for Rajasthan at the IPL, behind the 57 (average 25.38) in 55 games by Shane Warne.

# Trivedi has received the Man of the Match award for the second time in the IPL.

# Rahul Dravid has been bowled on fourteen occasions at the IPL, equalling Kumar Sangakkara’s tally. Jacques Kallis holds an unwanted record, having been dismissed bowled most times (15).

# Sunil Narine (six wickets at 6.83 runs apiece) and Kevon Cooper (6 at 7.50) are the leading wicket-takers in the current edition.

# Cooper’s excellent performance of 3 for 15 is his second best at the IPL, next only to the 4 for 26 against Kings XI Punjab at Jaipur on April 6, 2012.

# Eoin Morgan (51 off 38 balls) has posted his tenth fifty in Twenty20 - his second at the IPL.

# Hodge (46 not out off 31 balls) has registered his highest score against Kolkata at the IPL.

# Jacques Kallis’ tally of seven ducks is bettered only by Manish Pandey (8) and Amit Mishra (8) at the IPL. His tally includes four golden ducks.

# Manoj Tiwary, in the course of his 14, has completed his 1000 runs - 1006 at an average of 30.48 in 57 matches at the IPL.

# Yagnik became the second Rajasthan wicketkeeper after Mahesh Rawat (twice) to effect three dismissals in an innings at the IPL.

(This article was published on April 9, 2013)
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