Coach Bangar plays down pressure factor

When Kings XI Punjab walk into the Eden Gardens for the Qualifier 1 clash against Kolkata Knight Riders, they will be facing a stiff test.

Punjab coach Sanjay Bangar, however, stressed there would no pressure on his lads and both teams would be starting on an even keel.

“Past records don’t really indicate anything,” he said on the eve of the match. “The teams that have got to the play-offs have played really good cricket and whichever team plays well on that day will hold an edge.”

“KKR are in a very confident mood right now. They were not in a great position to make the No 2 spot but they played some outstanding cricket to get there. Even a team like Mumbai (Indians) has surprised everyone by qualifying for the play-offs from nowhere. I think these two teams will have great confidence coming into the play-offs but Chennai Super Kings and we have played consistent cricket over a larger period of time.”

Bangar also sounded confident of the clash at the Eden which could be a very intimidating venue for visitors with almost 65,000 fans rooting for just one team.

“In fact, we are looking forward to it. Eden Gardens has a history of producing great cricket because of the crowd and the atmosphere that is created. It’s good to have that sort of competition and challenge for both the teams. We will revel in the conditions.”

Bangar, the only Indian chief coach at the IPL, said it is up to the franchises to decide on whether more Indians should be made in charge of teams.

“I always felt that sense of responsibility when I took over the team. I've tried to give my best shot and really step it up. All other teams also have Indian coaches in their support staff but what worked to my advantage is that I've been playing cricket until 15 months ago. I know most of the boys and how they respond to match situation. Maybe it helped a bit in that sense.”

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