Kolkata Knight Riders star Shakib Al Hasan has lavished praise on his skipper Gautam Gambhir for his exceptional captaincy this season.

The two-time IPL champions have been one of the most feared sides in the ongoing season due to their attacking brand of cricket. With 7 wins from 10 games at an impressive net run-rate of 0.849 which was over 1 for the majority of the tournament, the Knight Riders are comfortably placed at the second position in the table and are looking well set to make it to the playoffs.

“The way he manages the team is exceptional. It is not easy to captain in franchise cricket. Look at his results: almost every year we have qualified for the playoffs. Not many teams have been able to maintain that,” said Shakib during a promotional here on Tuesday.

The all-rounder’s season has not panned out in a similar manner that it did in previous editions and there are various reasons for it. Kuldeep Yadav has done well with Sunil Narine while the Eden Gardens wicket, which had assisted spinners in previous seasons, has offered pace and bounce this season, prompting the team management to prefer fast-bowling all-rounders Colin de Grandhomme and Chris Woakes ahead of Shakib.

But the Bangladesh all-rounder, who has played just one game so far, is not disappointed with it and hoped to see his team lift the trophy. He will leave on international duty on Thursday or Friday which means the match against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) on Wednesday (May 3) could be his last chance to make an impact.

“As professional cricketers, we are aware that opportunities will be limited. But whoever isn’t playing is also ready. I am taking this positively,” said the Bangladesh ace.

“I could not contribute much to the team this time. But as a team, we are doing well. That’s important. First, your team must do well. No scope for complaining. Hope we will be champions again, although I won’t be here until the end,” he added.

Shakib further said that he is confident of a good performance from his team against the high-flying Supergiant. The Knight Riders had defeated Steve Smith’s men by 7 wickets in the previous meeting and although they are coming into this match after being thrashed by Sunrisers Hyderabad, Shakib is confident his team can get back to winning ways.

“We are in a good position. The whole season, we have played dominating cricket. We did well against them a few days ago. In IPL, every team is competitive. There’s not much of a difference between top and bottom-placed teams. We will lose occasionally, but I have full faith in our team to do well,” he said.

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