Kolkata: Bangladesh’s allrounder Shakib Al Hasan, whose 3 for 17 and 16 off 10 balls helped Kolkata Knight Riders register a five-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on Friday, said that getting the early wickets boosted his confidence.
"[The] early wickets boosted my confidence and helped me settle my nerves. Whenever you bowl the first over, there are butterflies in [your] stomach. This was one pitch where I needed to bowl well and I did pitch the ball in right areas," Man-of-the-Match Shakib said after the match. The well-timed six he hit in the penultimate over of their chase helped KKR immensely. "There wasn't much pressure on me as we were close to run-a-ball and we needed just a boundary."
Victorious KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir gave credit to his spinners, Shakib and Sunil Narine, for helping his side reduce Rajasthan to a low score of 131. "[We] always knew 120-125 would be a good [total], but we had the batting to chase it down. They started well, but Shakib did well along with Narine, and later the batsmen like Jacques [Kallis], Manoj [Tiwary] did well. Credit to Narine for the way he bowled the 19th over. He is a mystery bowler, [who] is difficult to play, and the ploy [of] keeping him for the end helped."
Shakib also said he always felt at home while playing at the Eden Gardens. He was included in KKR’s playing XI after they lost their first two matches of this season.
Shakib admitted that he was a bit nervous in the first match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. "It was my first match [of this season]. I was a bit nervous. But here it was different. I always feel at home here [Eden Gardens]. I've been playing here since my under-15 days. I was always confident here," Shakib said.
When asked whether his match-winning performance on Friday would help him to cement his place permanently in the KKR line-up, Shakib said: "My job is to perform as a player. It's the coach and captain's call on the team combination. I try to just stay focused on my job." The slow left-armer also said that KKR have the belief to go all the way in this edition of the IPL. "It's true that we did not start well. But we hope to carry on the winning momentum now. I'm sure we will go all the way."