IPL 2021: Harbhajan Singh calls on Kolkata to 'win every game' to keep title hopes alive

Knight Riders resume season against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Abu Dhabi on Monday

Harbhajan Singh has challenged Kolkata Knight Riders to win all of their remaining games as they prepare to resume their IPL 2021 campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Zayed Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Kolkata enter the match with a record of two wins and five defeats to sit second bottom in the table, while Bangalore have won five of their first seven and are flying high in third.

Kolkata have been in similar positions before: they began the 2014 IPL by losing twice in the UAE's opening segment of the tournament before storming back to lift the trophy once the competition resumed in India.

Eoin Morgan's side are now hoping to successfully change course once again, and Harbhajan has urged Kolkata to make a bright start in an attempt to take control of their destiny.

"We're totally in that sort of situation where we have to probably win each and every game," Harbhajan told Abu Dhabi Cricket.

"We have got nothing to lose as a team. From here, everything is upward. You win everything, you win the championship, simple as that. I think the boys have kind of gathered that and they know that this is a great opportunity, rather than getting bogged down by that we have to win each and every game.

"But to win any kind of championship, you have to play like champions. This is a great kind of position to be in, where you can play freely and express yourself and try to win each and every game.

"We have to all believe that we can win and if we can create that magic, it will be fantastic and after 20 years we can say, 'Wow, we did something really great!'"

Following their meeting with Bangalore, Kolkata take on Mumbai Indians on Thursday and then face Chennai Super Kings on Sunday - both taking place at Zayed Cricket Stadium. It means three of their remaining seven matches will be played in Abu Dhabi, and their record in the capital is an encouraging one.

Kolkata emerged victorious in five of eight matches in Abu Dhabi last season, albeit their defeats came against Bangalore and Mumbai twice.

Wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik believes his Kolkata side can emulate the past success they enjoyed in Abu Dhabi.

"I think last year in the Abu Dhabi Stadium we had quite good success and, similarly, if we can replicate it and find ways to beat other teams it will be really good. We have three games here so there's a lot to look forward to," Karthik said.

Updated: September 20th 2021, 12:34 PM