Mumbai, Jun 4 : India cricketer Robin Uthappa, who was part of the victorious Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) franchise in 2014 has said that captain Gautam Gambhir never interfered with players' games and allowed them to express themselves freely.
Uthappa was a vital cog in KKR and spent 5 years there, before moving to Rajasthan Royals for IPL 2020 which has been postponed until further notice due to the Covid-19 pandemic. "What stood out for me was that he allowed people to express themselves and didn't interfere with anyone's games. He made sure he built a sense of security within the group and that I think also is integral in winning tournaments like the IPL and that's what successful captains do," Uthappa said on Star Sports show 'Cricket Connected'.
"In my experience of winning tournaments, what I've seen is that successful captains give people their space to express themselves and make sure that everyone within the group is feeling secure,' he added. The Kolkata-based franchise, which won its maiden title in 2012 under the captaincy of Gambhir. The former opener won his 2nd IPL title as captain and his 2nd with KKR in 2014. Reliving the days when he played for KKR under the leadership of Gambhir, Uthappa said that the former KKR captain loved spending time with the reserves and even trained with them to make sure they never felt left out from the team.
"...there's a sense of communication that's growing within the side, you need to bind with players especially in a tournament like the IPL, guys who aren't playing also play a big factor in building momentum and creating the right energy within the group,' he said. "He made sure he spent a lot of time with the reserves, he trained with them, he had meals with them, so they never felt left out,' he added.
Uthappa had a great run under Gautam Gambhir's captaincy in 2014 which turned out to be one of his best years in the IPL. The wicket-keeper batsman scored 660 runs and won the Orange Cap in 2014 as he played a key role in KKR winning their 2nd title. (UNI)