KKR’s fate hangs in balance after a demoralizing nine-wicket defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore, on Monday.
Admitting that their loss was a setback, the left-arm spinner said:”I can talk of myself and I would say yes, we are not getting that advantage (from the pitch). We are a spin dependent team, so we always expect some assistance at home.
We have not been getting that till now. It’s a bit disappointing for the players.” The two-time former champions face a 2015-like situation as they are left to win their remaining two matches to assure themselves a play-off berth, something they failed to achieve in their title defence last year to be eliminated at group stage.
Out of six home matches this season, KKR have lost three -- to Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Lions and the latest against Royal Challengers Bangalore. A team that banks on three specialist spinners in Shakib, Piyush Chawla and Sunil Narine, KKR have failed to capitalise on home conditions in their familiar territory at the Eden, as the 22-yard strip has been unusually flat this year.
But the Bangladeshi all-rounder refused to blame the surface and said they would bounce back to finish among top two. “To be honest, we cannot blame the pitch. We have enough quality players to win the matches on their own. Maybe, we didn’t do well at home the way it’s expected. But overall we’re in a good position. It’s important to play next two matches well.”
Shakib also defended his skipper Gautam Gambhir who dropped an easy catch of Virat Kohli, who was then on 32.
“I don’t think it was a turning point. But since he was in good form, our chances would have been brighter had we not dropped the catch and De Villiers would have come under a bit more pressure. But I would never say we lost lost the match becasue of one catch. They had other batsmen who could have scored the runs.”
“They (Royal Challengers Bangalore) have quality batsmen. The way they scored runs there wasn’t much we could do. We tried our best but they played better cricket.”