In his prime, he was the best allrounder in the world. Now donning the hat of the chief coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders, Jacques Kallis finds the challenge altogether different. He is enjoying every minute of the tough assignment that he finds himself in.
“It’s true that the challenges of being a coach are completely different than those of a player. As a player, you are directly in control of things whereas as a coach one has to be much patient,” he said.
On his plans for the KKR in the current edition of the IPL, the ever candid Kallis was spot on when he felt that his team was comfortably placed. “Right now we are quite comfortably placed. Most of our games are gone. We are sitting pretty as the next game is at our home which makes our life a lot easier,” opined Kallis.
But then he admitted that KKR would have to play good cricket to keep their place at the top. “Nowadays, the difference between teams is so minimial that each team will have to play its best. There is no scope for even letting one’s intensity a bit down,” he added.
When asked what his immediate priority was, Kallis said that it was to make the play offs. “Right now our focus is on getting through first to the playoffs. Mind you, that is not as easy a task as one would imagine it to be. Once we reach there, we will review our priorities,” he added.
The KKR coach was happy with the intensity that his team has been showing till now—especially Wednesday night’s terrific win over Punjab. “It’s been a tough road. We spent three and a half weeks away from Kolkata. And to put in a performance like we did on Wednesday with the guys tired after a long trip, I believe was an exceptional effort,” Kallis said.
Kallis said that performance mirrored the positive traits of KKR. “It just showed the fighting spirit of the team. Very proud of the way the guys have played so far and deservedly they have a couple of days off,” he added.
Kallis also felt that KKR were a bit hampered by the injury to their star spinner Sunil Narine. “I think his (Sunil) injury has also hampered us a bit. He unfortunately hurt his bowling finger in the warm-up of the previous game against Bangalore, he wasn’t fit for Wednesday’s game. Now we will have to wait and see if he will be available for Sunday,” he said.
The KKR coach also revealed that co owner and Bollywood King Shah Rukh Khan was lucky for the team everytime he was present at the stadium. It was no different on Wednesday when SRK turned up to cheer his team.
Kallis also said that even when Shah Rukh could not be present the Bollywood icon would be constantly sending messages. “Even when he is not in the ground, he is always sending messages of support to say he is with us. He is a magnificent supporter. Win or lose he is always sending messages. A lot of us have learnt a lot from him. He is such a humble man even though he has achieved so much. We are lucky to have him around,” felt the former great.