Kolkata, April 9: Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir on Wednesday said for him the man-of-match was Suryakumar Yadav who smashed a cameo scoring 46 from 20 balls to help his side successfully chase down a tough target in the IPL opener against Mumbai Indians.
However, Kight Riders' pace spearhead Morne Morkel was chosen as the man of the match for his impressive figures of 2/18. (Photo and Twitter reactions: Vinay breaks Gambhir's bat)
"Definitely for me, Man-of-the-match, would be Surya. He showed maturity and amazing hitting," said Gambhir at the post match media conference.
Gambhir said Surya Kumar was made vice-captain as KKR believes in grooming individuals, unlike other franchises which groom players.
"We gave him the vice-captaincy because of his sense of responsibility and he has lived upto that. He is young and he's gotta lot to learn, in KKR we groom individuals that is what makes us different from other franchises," Gambhir said.
Asked about West Indies spinner Sunil Narine who was lacklustre in the season opener, the skipper said,"Well he was very good, the way he bowled was fantastic, maybe not at his best but he obviously showed a lot of character.
"We will just let him get into the groove and not rush him into the thick of things, like a I said before even if he bowls straight he will still be a danger."
Gambhir scored a pacy 57 off 43 balls to help his side overhaul the Mumbai Indians' 168 with nine deliveries and seven wickets in hand.
Asked whether the way he danced down the track a couple of times to Mumbai Indian spinners Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan Singh was a pre-determined tactic, Gambhir said: " There wasn't much for the spinners, we wanted to have wickets in hand, so that we could get 10 or 12 an over at the end.
"So I decided to attack the spinners, the ball wasn't turning much and it thus became a part of the plan."