RCB vs KKR, IPL 2022: We won’t chicken out – Shreyas Iyer proud of KKR’s fighting despite defeat

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Kolkata Knight Riders captain Shreyas Iyer said he was proud of his team for the character they showed in a thriller against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the DY Patil Stadium on Wednesday. KKR lost by 3 wickets but Shreyas said he was happy with the character his bowlers showed in attempting to defend 128.

KKR were dismissed for 128 in 18.5 overs but made it difficult for RCB, who were reduced to 17 for 3 in 2.1 overs. Umesh Yadav dismissed Anuj Rawat and Virat Kohli, while Tim Southee removed Faf du Plessis to give the Knight Riders some hope.

IPL 2022: Full Coverage

Shreyas Iyer said it was an exciting game and lauded his team for their fighting spirit.

“I really found this game exciting. Before getting in, I spoke with my boys and told them that this game is going to define our character and attitude on the field no matter we defend or not. The way we fight it on the ground, that is really going to reflect our mentality in the next few games,” Shreyas told the host broadcasters in the post-match presentation ceremony.

“I am really proud the way we played this game and took it till the last over. It was really tough at that moment because I wanted to get my best bowlers up there and get a few wickets early on but it didn’t work out really well. Kudos to their batsmen, they played really well out in the middle.

“They took out the toughest phase as soon as possible. In the end, I decided to go with Venky because he’s also got really good experience bowling at international level and you need to back them especially at the start of the tournament. It’s really important they gain confidence as early as as possible and this was one of the best games to get that,” Shreyas said.

Shreyas Iyer conceded the pitch was a “bit dicey”. RCB skipper Faf du Plessis, at the toss, had called the pitch tacky and it was clear that run-scoring wasn’t easy on the surface. KKR’s ability to take the game deep despite a below-par total undoubtedly impressed the captain.

“The wicket was looking a bit dicey at the start, it was two-paced, variable and the bounce was odd. We wanted to get off to a really good start and that’s what we planned. The execution part was tough. We are going to come back with the same mindset, we are not going to chicken out.

“That’s what we want to focus on and that’s what we spoke about coming into the tournament that we’ll be someone who’d be taking risks. Next time when we come, we need to rectify the errors and see to it that we get the momentum as early as possible.

Shreyas Iyer also heaped praise on Wanindu Hasaranga, who was named man-of-the-match for his figures of 4 for 20.

“Wanindu Hasaranga bowled really well, he got off to a good start after getting my wicket. I was able to read him pretty well at the start. We had decided that we’ll play him as an off-spinner but unfortunately he bowled really good lines and lengths. He’s also very experienced and he was getting some help on this wicket. Congratulations to him,” he said.

Shreyas Iyer came to the IPL 2022 on the back of some spectacular performances against Sri Lanka. He had struck three half-centuries in as many T20Is and remained unbeaten in all those matches. In the season opener against defending champions Chennai Super Kings, Shreyas had scored an unbeaten 20 to guide his team home.

On Wednesday, Shreyas Iyer walked in to bat at No.3 after the early loss of Venkatesh Iyer. Shreyas looked good once again, getting off the mark with a cracking cover drive, but he was dismissed by Wanindu Hasaranga for a 10-ball 13.

Shreyas Iyer was named captain of Delhi Capitals after Gautam Gambhir stepped down midway through a horrid season in 2018. He had done well to revive DC’s fortunes, but an unfortunate injury meant the mantle was passed to Rishabh Pant. He opted to feature in the player auction earlier this year and KKR bought him for Rs 12.25 crore and soon named him captain.

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