Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders allrounder Jacques Kallis hasn't given up on his team's chances of making it to the play-offs in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League. The Gautam Gambhir-led team beat Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets on Friday to keep their hopes alive in the nine-team tournament.
Kallis, who scored an unbeaten 33 in a 78-run stand with Yusuf Pathan (49*) that saw the hosts chase down 133 to register their fourth win in 11 matches, said that despite the fact the defending champions needed to win their remaining four matches to have a realistic chance, they were not prepared to give up.
"The guys were always motivated and we have always applied ourselves, but unfortunately we were not winning games. We have not played as bad as people think this season. We just lost a few close games that could have turned our season around, but it is important to do what we are doing at the moment; that is focus on winning games.
"Who knows, if we still win all our remaining games, the semis are still in our grasp. Our first aim though, is to qualify for the Play Offs and then take it from there," the burly South African told iplt20.com on Friday.
Kallis also said Pathan's return to form was a good omen for the team. "Yusuf batted brilliantly. To strike a ball as well as he did on a wicket like that is commendable. That is the reason why Pathan is so important in our squad. It is good to see that he has got his confidence back towards the end of the season; probably the perfect timing for us and hope he helps us to win a few more games."
"Yusuf has always backed himself and practiced hard. He covers his basis and obviously the way he plays he might not be as consistent like the few other guys, but that is the kind of role that Yusuf has in the team. He has to play freely like he did and I have no doubts that he will take a lot of confidence from this knock."
When asked whether he was rightly dubbed Kolkata's 'Mr Dependable', Kallis said, "I do not know about that, but I think there are plenty of match winners in the team. I am just fortunate that I am able to contribute with both bat and ball. I enjoy doing both of them and as long as I can continue to do both of them for KKR, I will be a happy man."