Kolkata Knight Riders will do well even in my absence, says Shakib Al Hasan

Kolkata, Apr 5: Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will miss bulk of the IPL-8 edition due to a home series against Pakistan but expressed confidence that Kolkata Knight Riders have enough depth in their side to do well in the upcoming edition of the cash-rich league. (Sunil Narine to bowl in IPL 2015)

"I don't think my absence will be a problem. Our bench strength is very strong. We have got depth in our side. It's such a long tournament, anyone can get injured anytime but we have our back-up ready. All in all, we are a balanced side," Shakib told reporters, here today.

File picture of Shakib Al Hasan

The left-arm spinner will play first two matches and return home for a full series against Pakistan beginning with three ODIs in mid-April.

"I will also possibly play the last two league matches. Of course, my target would be to contribute like last season."

Terming their team's bowling attack as 'spin-oriented' which exploits the conditions at Eden Gardens, Shakib said their target would be to win all the home matches so that it becomes easier to qualify for the play offs.

"We get a bit of help for spinners in our home ground. So if you win all your home matches, it becomes easier to qualify. If we start well, obviously it becomes easier towards the last stage. But (our two leading pacers) Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav have done very well in the World Cup. They will also play a vital role."

Besides him and Sunil Narine, who got a clean chit from BCCI being cleared of suspect action, the KKR have the likes of chinaman bowler Brad Hogg, off-spinner Johan Botha and the unknown Indian entity KC Cariappa and chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav.

"It's a healthy competition (among the spinners). It's good for the team that everybody does their best to deliver on the field." Shakib further said rookie spinner Cariappa is a bit like Sunil Narine.

"He is a young talent. He will learn a lot by being with the team. Hopefully, he will do well when he gets his chance," said world's No 1 all-rounder in ICC rankings.

'No match is easy against any team in T20'

Recalling their poor performance in the Dubai leg, he said: "Last season, we had to bounce back really hard and we did that. It's a good sign but in hindsight it won't be as tough if we start well."

Two heavyweights, Mumbai Indians (April 8) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (April 11), are in line for Kolkata Knight Riders at home and Shakib said the need of the hour was to be consistent and not do anything experimental.

"No match is easy against any team in Twenty20. We have been consistently doing well for last three-four seasons. Our target is to hold the consistency. I don't think it would be a good to try something new."

He further said the defending champions tag would not be an added pressure.

"If we think about all these things (being defending champions) then it creates pressure. All the matches are equally important and get you two points each."


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