Kolkata: Even though it was an amazing start to the eighth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with both Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Mumbai Indians (MI) notching up high scores in the opener here on Wednesday, they also looked far from convincing on the field, spilling a number of chances.
Backed by some solid performances with the bat, KKR clinched the encounter by chasing a stiff target of 169 runs with seven wickets to spare. But the fielding left a lot to be desired. As many as six catches were dropped during the match, with some being absolute howlers.
“I don’t know, we need to get our fielding standards up because in these kind of tournament if you drop dangerous players, it can get tough,” said KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir when asked about the dropped catches and whether it had something to do with the floodlights.
“And in those situations if we would have got Corey Anderson then they would not have got 168.” Anderson was dropped in the very first ball of the 15th over as Andre Russell spilled an easy one at deep midwicket. The New Zealander, then batting on 23, went on to score 55 not out.
Gambhir, however, exuded confidence his boys would improve in the area. “These things (taking the catches) are important but no one drops it intentionally. We need to keep improving in this area,” he said.
“Our bowling was good, batting was unbelievable, still room for improvement in our fielding, as professional players guys would try and do better in the area.” Mumbai Indians had their share of butter fingers too as wicket-keeper Aditya Tare, Anderson and Harbhajan Singh dropped one each.
Gambhir was dropped twice — first when he was on one and he was also dropped when he was on 47. He went on to make 57 and was pivotal for his team’s victory along with Manish Pandey, who was the beneficiary once on 28 and added 12 more runs to his tally.