After defeating the Chennai Super kings yesterday, KKR have now won 5 matches in a row. Before this row of win, they lost consecutive four matches. They had a sudden change in form and by winning 5 matches in a row they are now in a comfortable zone to make into the playoffs. By winning the last match against the south Indian giants, CSK, who are now in the 2nd position in league table and already qualified for playoffs, KKR are now 4 points clear to RCB and SRH. They only need one more win or we can say 2 more points from their remaining two matches to cement their name in playoffs. Even if, they lose the remaining two matches, they will still be in a better position due to their net run rate.
The winning streak started with a win over DD, who are struggling in the bottom of the table with 4 points in their point box, by 8 wickets. KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir, and his opening partner Robin Uthappa played two excellent innings to take the match to a win with Gautam Gambhir’s 69 runs from 57 deliveries with 5 fours and 2 sixes and Uthappa’s 47 runs from 34 deliveries with 5 fours and 1 six. The 1st win after four consecutive losses surely revoked the confidence in the players and that win got KKR back in contention for a playoff spot. It came as a booster for them as they crumbled in their last match against RR by losing 6 wickets at a span of 2 runs. The next match was against the league leader KXIP, surely they had to come with a good strategy to beat KXIP, as KXIP have proved themselves as the best team of IPL 7 so far. But KKR took a smooth win in that match. In spite of an outstanding innings of Virendra Sehwag of 72 runs from 50 deliveries with 11 boundaries and 1 over boundary, they won. Again skipper of KKR Gautam Gambhir have taken the team to victory by playing a wonderful innings of 63 runs of 45 balls with 7 fours. Robin Uthappa 46(28) and Manish Pandey 36(35) also played well to support the wonderful innings played by Gambhir and remained unbeaten and led the team to victory.
Bowlers also came up with excellent performances in that match. Piyush Chawla took 3 wickets in his 4 overs with 7 dot balls and Morne Morkel took 2 wickets from his 4 overs with 19 dot balls. Really it was a team effort that gave KKR that victory. They won that match by 9 wickets, an excellent win from a very important match. After that, they won against Mumbai Indians, the defending champions of this year, by 6 wickets. Robin Uthappa’s fiery innings of 80 runs from 52 deliveries with 9 fours and 3 sixes brought them the victory. After that they defeated SRH and CSK by 7 and 8 wickets respectively. In all the matches Uthappa played consistently well and scored 40+. Against SRH, for the first time, Yusuf pathan played well and when no one was there, he took the responsibility and led the team to victory by playing 39 runs from 28 delivery with 2 fours and 2 sixes and remained unbeaten.
In all five matches Uthappa’s aggression has helped their team’s cause and he has now scored above 40 in the last five matches which stands to be a record. He is a key player for the team and also a consistent and reliable player for KKR. He now ranks 3rd in contention for the Orange Cap. His blistering innings right at the top did set the stage for KKR in the past few matches. Also, Gambhir is back in form after his three consecutive ducks at the beginning of the IPL. The opening partnership for KKR has been outstanding and has been one of the main cause for their victories and uncapped player, Manish pandey has been involved in several match winning partnerships from the beginning and thus their batting side is very much stable. The lower half of the middle order also comprise of strengths in the likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Ryan Ten Doeschate and Suryakumar Jadav. As of bowling side, KKR have the mystery spinner, Sunil Narine, who is perhaps one of best spinners of IPL and they also possess the speedster, Morne Morkel. Both have come up with standing performances at crucial times. Narine has been more that economical bowler for them and gave under 6 runs an over at the death overs, which added to their benefit. Bowlers like Shakib Al Hasan, Piyush Chawla and Umesh jadav are also supporting the bowling side well for KKR.
So altogether, KKR is a pretty good team and have a perfect team spirit, and all players are in a good form and shape. They are one win away to seal their name in the play-offs and are surely one of the strong contenders for this year’s IPL title. Hoping for the best to happen for KKR in important games to follow. Below we have given the squad for you –
Squad of KKR
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Gautam Gambhir (captain), Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib Al Hasan, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine, Jacques Kallis, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Chris Lynn, R Vinay Kumar, Manvinder Bisla, Debabrata Das, Kuldeep Yadav, Sayan Mondal and Veer Pratap Singh.