Simon Katich, the assistant coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders, has come out and stated that having to go through the must-win situations towards the end of the league stage has helped his side mentally prepare for the knock-out game like the eliminator tonight against the Rajasthan Royals.
Kolkata Knight Riders finished with 16 points to finish third, winning their last three games which were as good as knockout games.
Simon Katich ahead of tonight's all to play for game, was quoted saying, “To be able to put that behind mentally, go back and be able to regroup is a testament to the group and character of the team. We would like to think that it would hold us in good stead tomorrow night,”
“It’s always a different feeling in the playoffs because you know there’s no tomorrow. We can’t afford to have a bad night. But we have been in that situation in last three games really with the position we put ourselves into after back-to-back losses to Mumbai. The way the guys have adapted has been excellent and the belief in the group has been very good as well. The tough part starts now.”
Talking about his team's big match winner Andre Russel, Katich said, “He got us into the contest here… He is a big match player and we expect he is going to be ready to go for hopefully what is a big week if we can get the job done tomorrow night.”
The franchise went through a big transition from the leadership of Gautam Gambhir to the captaincy of Dinesh Karthik at the start of the season. Katich also shed light on how that part of the season was for his team. He said, “It’s always difficult when you come to a new franchise. You have to learn on your feet in terms of how your players go about it and also our game style which probably is a bit different from what he’s been used to given the way we match-up with our batting and potentially three spinners. He’s(Dinesh Karthik) certainly learned a lot in these seven weeks about the group and the way we play. His batting has been outstanding, he’s been on the top of his game. We have been very lucky from that point of view.”