Chennai:Kolkata Knight Riders coach Dav Whatmore on Monday played down captain Sourav Ganguly slamming his players after losing to Bangalore, saying that it was an emotional outburst of the former India skipper after seeing his side lose comprehensively.
"I can understand people talking when they are emotional. We have a more important small meeting and important training session for tomorrow's match," Whatmore said when asked about Ganguly's outbursts that his side were "absolutely rubbish" in the IPL match against Bangalore on Saturday.
"Yes, we could have fought a little bit harder. We were struggling in catching. These things do happen and nobody wanted to drop catches. What really counts is the angry reaction to it.
"We are very keen to react in the right way and play some really good competitive cricket. These are sorts of situations that throw up all the time. We are trying to focus on what we can control. We trying to do the best we can," he said ahead of Tuesday's match against Chennai.
Whatmore, however, dropped hints that the matter could have been dealt in-house instead of going public.
"We as a group do talk within the closed doors and do not reveal outside that room. Whatever we do, we do in-house. It is not for public consumption. KKR is one of the good franchisee," he said.
When asked what CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have done in a similar situation, Whatmore said, "Dhoni is a relaxed captain and he has all signs of a good captain. I have never seen him shouting at the youngsters. If he is upset, he goes to the coach and speaks."
He said his players are in good spirit despite the slamming by the captain.
"We have spoken individually to number of boys. We are OK and intact. This is not a problem and this is not the first time any international cricketer may have gone through. We have identified the issues and address them with the individual players," he said.
Whatmore refused to divulge the team composition but said the important thing is to field a balanced side.
"We have not decided the final eleven. Both the teams would be looking to attack and win the game. Looking back at the tournament, I would say that we have been playing well and we had one bad day. Previous games we made 180 and 200. We could have some players in the eleven and we looked only at the team balance," said the Australian.
"We respect every opposition. Everyone with yellow shirt is a threat. We will play as hard as we can and tomorrow is no exception in our goal to win the match," he said.
Asked about players attending parties after match, Whatmore said, "Party? I am not aware of it. IPL parties? we are not going for it. And I do not know."
Chennai all-rounder Albie Morkel said his side is taking every game as final match.
"We are treating tomorrow's match as a final game in the tournament. We have to win every game to ensure our progress to the semifinal. We are not unduly worried about the net run rate but we will concentrate on our winning all the remaining matches to earn the semifinal spot," he said.
Asked whether his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have slammed players in a similar situation with Ganguly, Morkel said, "Dhoni is a relaxed captain and he has all signs of a good captain. I have never seen him shouting at youngsters. If he is upset, he goes to the coach and speaks."
The South African said he has recovered from his injury and may play tomorrow.
"I may be back in the team. I missed Mumbai match as I was injured in the Rajasthan Royals match. I was asked to bowl and bat at the nets today. I might find a place in the team tomorrow," he said.
Asked about the strength of KKR, Morkel said his side will have to stop visiting opener Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum from scoring freely.
"Both teams are strong on paper and both have match winners. Kolkata are a balanced side and Chris Gayle is a dangerous batsman. As a bowler, the very thought of bowling to Chris, you will not sleep. He could take the game away in couple of over. We need to restrict both Galye and Brendon McCullum.
"Their bowling is not as strong as their batting. Of course, they have Shane Bond and Ajantha Mendis and they are world class bowlers."