Kolkata Knight Riders failed in their bid to win their third Indian Premier League title here on Friday but captain Eoin Morgan said that he is 'extremely proud' of the fight put up by his men after being down and out during the first phase. KKR lost the IPL summit clash by 27 runs to Chennai Super Kings who grabbed their fourth title in the process.
"We are extremely proud of the fight we have shown. The character and fight is a trademark. Guys fought incredibly hard and performed," Morgan said after the final.
"Iyer and Gill have been outstanding. Ventakesh is new to this platform. They have been the cornerstone of our batting. Tripathi left everything out there today. Unfortunately, he picked up an injury." Morgan also said the team owners - Shah Rukh, Venky - have been outstanding in their support.
KKR were impressive during the second leg of the IPL in the UAE, winning five league matches out of seven as they sneaked into the playoffs by edging out defending champions Mumbai Indians on net run rate. KKR head coach Brendon McCullum echoed Morgan's views. "We are super proud of what all the guys did. Congratulations to Super Kings, and their leaders. Just an amazing journey, and some things we can remember for a long time," he said, reflecting on his side's performance in the tournament.
"When you fall at the final hurdle, there is always a sense of what if. The way the guys stepped up and performed - particularly the young Indian guys. Big shout out to the owners, they give us immense support."
CSK opener and Player of the Match Faf du Plessis said Indian cricket is blessed with talent. "Gaikwad is a special talent. Indian cricket is blessed with talent. He is getting better. He's got a super, bright future ahead of him. I have had a word with him, but I don't think he needs me," said the South African who scored 86 off 59 balls to help CSK post 192 for 3.
"I am really grateful for today. It was also my 100th game in the IPL. I have loved my time here. I have done almost ten years here - two seasons were a bit of a break. No. 4 in the trophy cabinet is really good."