We let ourselves down in the last game, says KKR coach Kallis

Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Jacques Kallis on Thursday admitted that his team was not up to the mark in the previous match against Kings XI Punjab which they lost by 14 runs.

Chasing a modest target of 168 runs for a win during last Tuesday’s match at the I.S. Bindra Stadium in Mohali, KKR could only manage to post 153/6 in their allotted 20 overs despite Chris Lynn firing a 52-ball 84.

“We let ourselves down in the last game. We got off to a great start and I think the platform has been well set throughout the season. We have had very good starts and most of the times we have converted them. In the last game, like I said, we let ourselves down,” Kallis said while speaking to media at a Knight Golf event at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) here.

KKR, second in the points table with 16 points from 13 matches, will play Mumbai Indians in their final league encounter at the Eden Gardens here on Saturday.

“That happens,” Kallis said when asked what went wrong in the last game.

“In T20 cricket, you don’t win all matches. There are hard totals that you chase down… and easy totals that you can’t chase down. So you gotta plan for that. We will take some valuable lessons going into the next game. The guys are ready to come back from that. Hopefully, we can put up a good performance in the next game,” the 41-year-old former South Africa all-rounder said.

Twice IPL champions KKR have a different kind of pressure now that they have already put one foot in the play-offs, Kallis said.

“We have pretty much qualified for the play-offs. It’s a different kind of pressure now. We have still got one game to go. Again, it’s not about the season but worrying about the next game. We don’t think too far ahead, just try and plan for the next game,” he said.

Seated next to him, KKR CEO Venky Mysore said: “Many of our players enjoy golf. It’s a good way to take your mind off cricket. The last seven years that I have been involved with KKR and Jacques has been involved, we have had some enjoyable rounds of golf.”

“Three years ago we decided to make it formal. I had grown from strength to strength. I have found this a terrific platform to say thanks to the city of Kolkata for all the love and support.

“We converted this last year to a charity golf event. There is tremendous support from all our players. Even the non-golfers are coming this evening. Also a lot of children showed up last year,” he added.

Besides Kallis and Mysore, KKR assistant coach Simon Katich, bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji, physiotherapist Andrew Leipus, physical trainer Adrian le Roux and the New Zealand pair of Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme were seen teeing off.