Kolkata: Shubman Gill, the Kolkata Knight Riders opening batsman, feels that his team is still in with a chance of making it to the play-offs of IPL 2021 which resumes in the UAE from September 19.
The Indian opener, who arrived in Abu Dhabi on Sunday after an extended rehab at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for his shin injury from Bengaluru, said: “I think a break was really important. Sometimes such things happen that you don’t expect. I think we are very much in the contention to finish in the Top 4. Whichever team qualifies, you never know what will happen. So hopefully we will win the remaining matches, make sure we qualify and then we’ll see where we go from there.”
A two-time champions, the Knights will be looking to shrug off memories of the first leg which saw them languishing in the seventh spot of the table with just two wins.
The Indian opener, who returned to India after developing a shin pain and was ruled out of the ongoing Test series against England, will be quarantining in the team hotel for six days before he joins the rest of the squad for practice.
Talking about his plans for the second phase of IPL 2021, Gill said KKR: “If we keep doing what we have done in the past years and just enjoy our game, then it’s not possible that we won’t do well or qualify.”
AB De Villers arrives in Dubai
Meanwhile, former South Africa captain AB de Villiers landed in Dubai on Monday to join the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) camp and will get into quarantine of six days before hitting the ground for training sessions. He took to his Instagram handle to give updates about his arrival in Dubai with his family.
“From the friendly @emirates staff to the amazing welcome at the @jatheresort, all in all a very pleasant trip to the UAE. Exciting 6 weeks ahead. And not a bad view from our room,” wrote de Villiers.
In the first half of IPL 2021 in India, de Villiers scored 207 runs in seven matches at an average of 51.75 and strike rate of 164.28, including two fifties.
Most of the domestic players of the RCB squad reached Dubai on August 29 and recently started training after finishing quarantine.
Earlier, director of cricket operations-cum-coach Mike Hesson said in a video said that Australian allrounder Glenn Maxwell will join in 2-3 days while New Zealand’s giant fast bowler Kyle Jamieson will join the team on September 10.
The Challengers are currently placed third on the points table with 10 points from seven matches. They will resume their campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on September 20.
- With inputs from IANS