Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) pacer Harry Gurney believes that his skipper Dinesh Karthik and leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who have booked their places in the India World Cup squad, will now play more freely in the remaining games of the Indian Premier League.
"I think so far in the competition, they (DK and Kuldeep) have been focused on KKR. I am sure that now that the selections are over and they have been selected, the weight is off their shoulders and will hopefully be free and would perform well for KKR," Gurney told reporters in Kolkata on Wednesday.
Both Karthik and Kuldeep have been included in the 15-member India squad that will travel to England for the showpiece event to be held in England and Wales from May 30.
KKR, who have lost their last three matches, are now sitting at the fifth spot in the points table with four wins in eight matches. They need to win at least four of the remaining six games to seal their berth in the playoffs.
However, Gurney is optimistic that his side will come out with an improved performance to make it to the knockout stage.
"(We are) still pretty optimistic. Obviously it's not a great run to be on but fortunately we had a good start. So, we are excited to play in the remaining games," the England left-arm pacer said.
"So, in last six games of the season if we can pull up and work upon with bat and ball, then we are going to be a tough team to beat," he added.
KKR will now lock horns with bottom-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Eden Gardens here on Friday.
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