Melbourne: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Gautam Gambhir has heaped praise on his teammate and Australian batsman Chris Lynn by describing him as the `hardest hitter` of the ball in international cricket at the moment.
Lynn made an impressive return from a shoulder injury that sidelined the Queenslander for a month, smashing a quick-fire 22-ball fifty to guide the Knight Riders to a six-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their c (IPL) clash last evening.
He also blasted five boundaries and four sixes in his half-century besides also sharing an incredible 105-run opening stand with Sunil Narine.
“I reckon (Lynn) is the hardest hitter of the ball at the moment in international cricket. The way he backs himself is unbelievable, for someone who was out with an injury for a month to play the way he did today shows the quality he has and how much be backs his game and how mentally tough he is,” cricket.com.au quoted Lynn as saying.
However, Narine’s own record-breaking knock somewhat overshadowed Lynn’s effort. The West Indies all-rounder smashed the joint-fastest IPL fifty off just 15 balls. He hit a 17-ball 54 – including six fours and four sixes – as Kolkata reached the 159-run target in 15.1 overs to emerge out victorious.
Gambhir revealed that the idea behind demoting himself in favour of keeping Narine at the top of the order alongside Lynn was to take the pressure off the returning Australian player.
“That was the best partnership I’ve seen in my entire career.You don’t expect people to get 105 in six overs. It was team management, we thought there’s no point making him bat at eight or nine because he was hardly getting any balls to face,” Gambhir said.
“We thought if someone could go hard from the other end it could just give Lynny some time because he was coming back after a month. But the way Lynny batted today was unbelievable, from both ends it was the best hitting I’ve seen,” he concluded.
KKR are currently standing at the second spot in the IPL table, having notched up eight wins from 12 games they have played so far.
The Gambhir-led team will next lock horns with Kings XI Punjab at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium tomorrow.