We don't chop and change too much: Gautam Gambhir


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After three initial years of poor results, Kolkata Knight Riders turned their Indian Premier League (IPL) fortunes around in 2011, winning the title twice in five seasons since. Gautam Gambhir, the skipper of the side who was the team's costliest buy in the player auction in 2011, put the success down to the franchise's ability to show faith and offer a long rope to their players.

"We do not chop and change too much. If someone doesn't perform well, we do not send him back to the auction or release (the player). We have shown a lot of trust in our domestic players. We have given them freedom to go and express themselves. All of us, coaches and support staff, have allowed players to go out and make mistakes. I think that that differentiates us from rest," the Kolkata captain said on the eve of their fixture against Mumbai Indians.

Gambhir's Knight Riders have had yet another promising start to an IPL season with four wins in five fixtures. Their only defeat came against Mumbai Indians at the Eden Gardens, where Rohit Sharma played an exceptional knock. Gambhir praised his opposite number as the two teams gear up for their second face-off on Thursday (April 27).

"I think one game doesn't define the side we are. But sometimes you need to give credit to the opposition as well. And I always believe that Rohit Sharma is a quality player. He was the one who took the game away from us. If someone from the top three can bat through the innings, most of the time the team will end up winning the game. That is what he did," Gambhir said.

"Let's see, we will plan something and try and stop him, as he has the most quality in the line-up. We have come a long way as well. After that game we lost, we have won three games on the trot. I think we are in pretty good form as well and hopefully we can continue that tomorrow. We have plans for everyone, not just Rohit. We got to bowl well as a unit, we have a quality bowling line-up. If we do that, we will create a lot of opportunities," a confident-sounding Gambhir added.

Gambhir also expressed his delight at Sunil Narine's return to the scheme of things and expected the West Indian spinner to play a key role for the team in the upcoming games.

"For Narine, I am very happy. He has showed a lot of character. Because the toughest thing for a bowler is when he remodels his action and comes back and plays a format like T20, knowing that people will be looking to go after him all the time. The way he has handled himself, he is mentally strong. We will definitely see the best of him in the coming games," Gambhir said.