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Kolkata Knight Riders’ star Manish Pandey has backed out-of-form teammate Yusuf Pathan to come good with the bat sooner rather than later.
The hard-hitting Baroda-born batsman has been out of sorts in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League which has made the Knight Riders prone to suffering once their top-order fails. Barring the 59 run knock against Delhi Daredevils, Pathan has failed to make any useful contribution with the bat, managing just 121 runs in 11 matches.
However, Manish Pandey is confident that the explosive batsman would find his touch soon.
“We all know Yusuf is a match-winner. He has won many matches for KKR. It happens sometimes that many of your batsmen do not get going. We also are waiting for him to come out with a big knock and win the match for us like he always does,” he said.
Pandey further said his team is concentrating on winning the remaining games after losing two games on the trot. The Knight Riders were comfortably placed in the points table after winning seven of their first 9 games but two consecutive losses have threatened to quash their hopes of finishing the league stage in the top-two of the table.
“It’s about playing really well on the given day. We are just focusing on our basics to win the remaining games from here,” said Pandey.
“Obviously there are not many happy faces after losing two games in a row. But it’s part of the game. We have discussed this in the team meeting also. We had some plans which obviously did not work for us. But if you see our performance as a whole, we have been doing well. It’s just a matter of posting one win and qualify. We are looking forward to that. I’m pretty sure we are going to do that and finish in top two,” he added.
With 14 points from 11 games, Knight Riders are within touching distance of making it to the playoffs and Pandey said that qualifying for the playoffs is his team’s current aim.
“We will play every game like the way we started the tournament. It’s about doing well in the departments we have been doing well. We have been consistent for four years. We are just one win away from qualifying so our focus as of now is only that,” he stated.
The two-time IPL champions will play their next game against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday (May 7).