10Cric IPL

We won't change our brand of cricket, insists Kolkata coach Balaji

Kolkata Knight RidersKolkata: Despite having lost three out of their last four matches, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowling coach L. Balaji said the team won't change their brand of cricket and play their natural game when they take on Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League (IPL) fixture here on Saturday.

"I expect uncertainty everyday. We are in a very good space of positivity. Our characters have been defined in these 13 games. We will not change brand of cricket and will do what comes to us naturally," Balaji told reporters at the pre-match press conference on Friday.

Asked whether the bowling attack has lacked consistency, Balaji said: "I think it's not about where we head. It's about what we decide. We have one extreme quick in (Nathan) Coulter-Nile and one left armer in (Trent) Boult, one mystery bowler and couple of chinaman so we have covered everything.

"You cannot ask for many changes in the team. We have already touched some good numbers. There is no reason because...we have Kuldeep (Yadav) who is 19-20 years old and bowling with Sunil (Narine). Umesh (Yadav) again is the most experienced in the IPL and he is bowling alongside Chris Woakes so they share a different bonding. This is very important. You do well as well as enjoy your partner. Bowling partnership is also very important in this game," the former India medium pacer said.

KKR have 16 points from 13 matches and with one game in hand have one foot on the playoffs. But mathematically there is still a chance that the two-time IPL champions won't make the top-four.

Balaji said the team is in a very good space and are not thinking about anything negative.

"I look at it other way round," Balaji said when quizzed about the faint chance of them getting dumped ahead of knockouts.

"KKR may get to No.1. So you normally live with such circumstances and opportunities. Opportunities decide who you are and where you come from and what you are doing."

KKR have a poor record against Mumbai who have already qualified for the playoffs and sit pretty at the top of the table with 18 points.

It's not one individual team," Balaji said answering a question about whether they would want to set the record straight against their long-term nemesis at the Eden Gardens.

"When you play eight teams there will be one end to the other. So there will be one oportunity that will erase the past and change the future. It is upto us to decide what plan we are going to take. We have been in a good space and we enjoy each other's company. We have enjoyed the cricket as well as off th field."

Opening batsman Chris Lynn said the other day after KKR's 14-run loss to Kings XI Punjab that the new look batting lineup will take time. Balaji opined that the batting battery of the hosts is one of the most experienced and whatever frailties they have encountered will be addressed.

"Nothing like this. It's only 120 balls to defend so whatever amount of positivity which you can able to do it on the field is good. This batting unit is one of the most experienced batting unit," he said.

There is always a learning curve for experienced guys as well so I am sure that boys have taken all positives that we have done. There are some learnings and important things that we need to address which we will cover.

"As far as I am concerned five batsmen scoring over 220 runs is good enough to not have a batting order change," Balaji said when asked whether a reshuffle in the batting order is required.