Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir said the seven-wicket over Chennai Super Kings here today tested the "character and temperament" of his team especially after the away loss against the same opponents a few days back.
Robin Uthappa (80 not out) and Andre Russell (59 not out) struck belligerent fifties after veteran Brad Hogg's 4 for 29 to help KKR return to winning ways with a seven-wicket win CSK at the Eden Gardens.
Gautam Gambhir. Pic/ PTI
Playing the formidable CSK for a second time in two days, KKR, who lost by two runs chasing 135 in the first leg clash, had a stiffer target of 166 to chase after skipper Gautam Gambhir won the toss and once again opted to field.
"It was an important test for us after we missed out on the last game. It was a test of our character and temperament, coming back and performing here was a tremendous effort. I told the team it was an important test if we want to play like defending champions, I wanted them to play freely and that's what Russell and Uthappa did," Gambhir said after the win.
"We wanted to be positive and we picked wickets and then chased it down. At one point I thought we could contain them to 140-150 but in this format and on this quick outfield it doesn't always happen. The firepower we have I knew we can chase it down. A lot of credit to Russell and Robin."
"One of them had to bat long, last couple of times I did it, one of the top three have to do it and that's what happened. Robin played a very sensible role especially with Russell you can easily get carried away," he added.
Losing captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni felt 166 was a defendable target. "It was a very good score. We were there because of (Pawan) Negi. We lost wickets early but we are trying to explore that, we are a bit conservative," he said.
He was little critical of Ravindra Jadeja's bowling and said the team missed Ravichandran Ashwin today. "It was a very good effort but if Jadeja had bowled slightly better, I though this wicket would suit him, otherwise a good effort," Dhoni said.
"Wrist spinners get more purchase on such pitches but Negi bowled well, despite giving runs, and his bowling was very good. Ashwin would've loved to bowl here. Once we are back in Chennai we'll know how he is healing," he added.