Eden Gardens has always been a decent wicket to bat: Manish Pandey

Eden Gardens has always been a decent wicket to bat: Manish Pandey

Uncapped Indian Players
Manish Pandey KKR. (Photo Source: BCCI)

After giving a winning start to the tournament, Kolkata Knight Riders suffered a loss at the hands of Mumbai Indians in their second successive game at their home venue. Manish Pandey, who hit a fabulous half-century last night, said that his side should have posted at least 200 after a superb start.

Both Gautam Gambhir and Manish Pandey piled on a 100 run stand for the 2nd wicket to create a perfect platform for a huge total. However, the Mumbai bowlers pulled back wonderfully with KKR losing the wickets of Russell, Gambhir and Colin Munro in the last three overs to restrict them to 187 for 5 and eventually  managed to restrict the Kolkata side to 187.

“With the way we started, probably we should have got 200. At least myself, Gautibhai (Gautam Gambhir) or Russell should have stayed till the end,” Pandey who scored an impressive 52 from 29 balls said at the post-match news conference on Wednesday.

“In the middle overs we were thinking 200, that’s what we were discussing. After I got out Russell had a decent partnership with the captain. There was a stage when there were new batsmen at both the ends. It’s not easy for any team to have two new batsmen at the crease and go for it. That’s what we lacked a bit,” he said.

Mumbai Indians, in reply, did a wonderful job and chased down the target with six wickets in hand. Skipper Rohit Sharma led from the front with a brilliant half-century while Jos Buttler played a entertaining cameo.

“Batting first you don’t know exactly how many runs you need. On any given day, if you score 180-plus batting first you normally think you would win the game. For any team, it’s a good total,” Pandey said.

“The wicket became a little better and it gave a little bit of advantage. I think that’s what Mumbai capitalised on.

“Now we lost the game we might think we’re 20 runs short.

“Overall it’s a good effort by our team.

“We were banking on our bowlers as we have a good spin attack and some decent fast bowling. But on odd days, you just end up losing such games. You’ve to learn from this and we would do better.”

“KKR’s ace spinner Sunil Narine was rested as he had joined the team just the night before the match,” Pandey said.

“He just came last night, it was a long flight for him.

“It was good for us to give him a bit of rest. I thought he was not ready because he was travelling.”

Pandey’s knock was a further proof of his new-found confidence after his knock against Australia in Sydney earlier this year where he had whacked 104 not out off 81 balls, his maiden international century in his only fourth ODI.

“I think what I realised in the last couple of months was that staying on the wicket will give me runs. I can’t just go nuts from the first ball. What I’m trying to do now is I look to take a little bit of time, assess the wicket and see what’s happening,” said the 26-year-old batsman.

He said KKR head coach Jacques Kallis had given him the same advice prior to the match.

“That’s what Jacques Kallis was telling me the other day ‘even if you have just 10 runs in 10 balls that’s fine, don’t worry, because once you get to know the wicket a little more, you have your shots and you can play all around’. That’s what I was doing and I’ll try and stick to this game plan to be consistent. He does not talk much and likes to give one on ones. This may take my cricket a step ahead.”

Asked about the Eden wicket, he said: “We got 100 in 12 overs. The wicket is playing fairly good. Eden Gardens has always been a decent wicket to bat on and it’s no different this time.”

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