After Kolkata Knight Riders' sixth straight loss in IPL 2019, the latest coming against Rajasthan Royals on Thursday (April 25), captain Dinesh Karthik rued the inability to cross the line despite trying hard.
"It is very difficult. I'm not going to say here and say it's okay, we played well. It's very disappointing that we're trying hard but we're just not able to cross the line," Karthik said at the post-match press conference.
Karthik said he understood there would be questions on his leadership, but stressed his side trusted in him as captain. He also said he believed in his players despite the string of losses.
"Obviously when results don't go your way, these questions will be asked and I understand that," he said. "As a team we're trying to do a lot of things right. There are not things that we're not attending to. We're trying to make the right changes, trying to build the right combinations. We're coming to every game believing we can win. We're trying to keep everyone in good space and making sure the dressing room is good.
"And they all trust in the leader. It's my job to lead from the front. Sometimes results don't go your way and it's a tough thing to mend. But the fact is that we're trying hard as a team and I'm sure I have belief in my boys and we'll come strong every game."
Karthik, who scored a 50-ball 97*, said the team's total of 175 was competitive.
"It went right down to the last over. Couple of good overs somewhere in the middle, we would have won the game. It looks like 175 was a good score. Maybe if we had batted the initial bit with more boundaries, we could have got a little more. Having said that, from the situation we were in, we'd take 175," he said.
"Bowling overall has been found wanting a little bit definitely. Batting as well, a lot of times. That's why we've not been able to close out games even when we end up scoring a lot of runs. That's something we need to look into. It can get better and the boys are aware."
Meanwhile, Varun Aaron, who returned figures of 2 for 20 said he enjoyed bowling in Eden Gardens as it had good bounce.
"I felt it was a very good cricketing wicket. It had something for the bowlers, batters...the outfield had value for shots. I feel that the wicket had something for everybody not just me. I was looking forward to bowling here because it had more bounce than other wickets. We knew there would be seam movement upfront. Eden is one of my favourite places to bowl in," he said.
Aaron had played just one game before this one, bowling just one over. He made a stellar comeback, dismissing Chris Lynn and Shubman Gill with inswingers. The delivery to Gill was a special one, for it swung in rapidly to hit the stumps.
Aaron credited his experience with county side Leicestershire for developing his inswinger.
"I used to rely a lot on my outswing. Last year when I wasn't playing the IPL and I had to play county cricket, I worked on my in-swing which is really handy. On wickets like these, you can't give any room at my pace. There's no point bowling outswing. For the past year after my county stint, it has been coming off better," he said.
"I'm looking forward to playing county cricket after the IPL, I have some time and really enjoyed my time last time. Looking forward to another stint. I don't know which team will need a fast bowler, it all depends on availability of fast bowlers, fitness and form and stuff like that."