Dahiya credits self belief for Knight Riders turnaround

Kolkata, May 21 (IANS) With Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) only a victory away from securing a berth in the play-offs of the Indian Premier League, after winning five games on the trot, team assistant coach Vijay Dahiya Wednesday credited self belief and team environment for the turnaround.

"It's the self belief and the fantastic team environment which has enabled us to return to our winning ways. We had a couple of close games and we always knew that we are there and just had to hold on couple of key overs to go to the winning line," said Dahiya ahead of KKR's crucial tie against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Eden Gardens Thursday.

"Self belief and the team environment created by the coaches has been fantastic. All along we have a very open policy where anybody can come in with suggestions whether on or off thefield. All the suggestions are welcome and anybody can walk to the captain to give his suggestions," said Dahiya.

After starting off badly, the Knights' campaign is back on track and they are currently placed fourth on the points table with seven wins from 12 games.

Dahiya was also all praise for senior pro Jacques Kallis who has been watching from the sidelines unable to find a place in the playing XI.

"Kallis is a champion and legend of the game and it is very difficult to keep him out. In fact, the credit goes to him when he has himself opted out of couple of games for the sake of team balance," said Dahiya, who also praised opener Robin Uthappa, who has been in rich vein of form.

"He has been in superb touch and has been playing really really well," said Dahiya about Uthappa, who so far has amassed 489 runs from 12 outings to play a big part in reviving the Knights' IPL campaign.

Refusing to talk about the team composition for Thursday's match, Dahiya said the team's strength has been spin and the Knights will continue to rely on their spinners on a spinning Eden track.

Asserting his team will continue performing the way it has been doing, Dahiya also had words of caution about the opponent batsmen including the dangerous Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli.

"We always plan for the opponents, but it's not only about a few players but the entire team. They have some great players in Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and AB de Villiers," added Dahiya.