Bengaluru, May 18: He is the most successful captain along with Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with two crowns. But the unexpected exit of defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) from this year's edition has left Gautam Gambhir in disbelief.
His team, which was placed second in the points table with 15 points even five days ago, found it out of the contention. Close losses in their last two matches packed the KKR home.
There was still some arithmetical hope on Sunday for the KKR to make the final four but with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)-Delhi Daredevils (DD) game getting washed out and Mumbai Indians (MI) crushing Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), the KKR's exit was confirmed.
The team was placed fourth in the table till the last delivery of the MI-SRH match was bowled and soon after, it got knocked out.
Gambhir was so upset that he reportedly kept awake till 3 am to find out the reasons for the elimination of the KKR despite getting 15 points.
According to the KKR captain, the two-run defeat to Chennai Super Kings, losing to RCB after scoring over 110 runs in 10 overs and going down to MI by 5 runs in their penultimate match cost his team a place in the play-offs.
The KKR had the MI in the coffin at the Wankhede Stadium on May 14 but couldn't find the nails. Gambhir is still regretting the 31-ball 61 by Hardik Pandya that took the game away from them. Gambhir believes that KKR lost some crucial moments that cost them dearly, according to a report published in Anandabazaar Patrika.
The KKR's decision to play veteran all-rounder Azhar Mahmood in the match against Rajasthan Royals that they lost by 9 runs also came under criticism. Mahmood gave away 41 runs in 3 overs, dropped an easy catch and scored just 6 off 7 balls.