Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir has hailed the influence of Ryan ten Doeschate's game changing innings against Pune Warriors during the Netherlands' international first IPL outing this season.
Ten Doeschate had not been required by the Knight Riders in any of their previous 12 matches, but the Essex all-rounder ensured his captain made the right decision to select him against Pune with a rapid 31.
The 32-year-old hit three fours and a six in his 21-ball knock as the Knight Riders recovered from 97-5 to a far more competitive 152-6 after their 20 overs, and Gambhir has praised Ten Doeschate for changing the tide of the encounter.
"Ryan was the man who changed the course of the tie," Gambhir told reporters after the game.
"Before he came to bat, we were expecting to score around 130 runs. Playing his first match, Ryan did a wonderful job in the death overs. He is the real hero."
Pune were skittled out for only 106 in reply as Iqbal Abdulla, Jacques Kallis and Sunil Narine all contributed with two-wickets apiece, while Lakshmipathy Balaji took an impressive 3-19.
Only two Pune batsmen were able to reach double figures, with opener Robin Uthappa scoring a steady 31 before Angelo Matthews crashed 40 from 28 balls.