Manish Pandey has been an extremely vital cog in the Kolkata Knight Riders outfit, and his performances at number 3 have been phenomenal indeed. Pandey has the ability to steady the ship after an early loss, as well as attack from ball one if needed. It was not surprising at all to comment that in his absence due to chicken pox, the Knight Riders’ batting would suffer a bit.
That has been the precise case with Gautam Gambhir’s side in the last couple of games. In Pandey’s absence, the Knight Riders haven’t found the momentum with the bat in their outings against Mumbai Indians and the Delhi Daredevils. Against the Daredevils, Knight Riders needed someone to stick around with Robin Uthappa in the middle, but there was no one to support him.
Post KKR’s loss to Delhi, Uthappa said that Pandey would be back for the Knight Riders soon. “We’re hoping he is going to join us in Bangalore. We’re not really sure. He’s very keen to play, we’re very keen to have him, provided he’s feeling better and he is fit to play,” Uthappa said. “He’ll be back soon. Definitely, in Calcutta, he’ll be available but we’ll have to see about the Bangalore game.”
Despite back to back losses, Uthappa was optimistic and said that the Knight Riders had created a positive momentum for themselves right at the start. “We created good momentum at the start of the tournament for ourselves and I think in the last two games and the last two games have obviously not gone down well with the boys. We’re not taking it very well, we don’t like losing. We look at ourselves as a very formidable side. But we’re looking forward to that game in Bangalore. We know that if we can get that one more win, we’ll go back home with momentum into Eden Gardens and that’s where we are really strong. We feel really confident there,” said Uthappa.