Mumbai, April 29 (IANS) Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) Chris Lynn said the team’s middle-order batsmen not capitalising on the good start given by openers Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa was a vital reason behind their six-wicket loss to Mumbai Indians.
Batting first, KKR posted a competitive 174/5 in 20 overs, thanks to skipper Gambhir’s 45-ball 59. Uthappa (20-ball 36) and Gambhir shared a 69-run stand in 7.4 overs but the latter batsmen failed to score at a fast clip.
In reply, riding on skipper Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 68 alongside Kieron Pollard’s quick-fire 17-ball 51 not out, the hosts chased down the target comfortably posting 178/4 with two overs to spare.
“I think, first probably we were 15 (runs) short with the bat and like we got off to a great start, didn’t really capitalise on the platform that we set it,” Lynn said at the post-match press conference here on Thursday.
“That’s probably it and in terms of our bowling we did not execute to our plans and potential and in T20 cricket if you miss the lengths you see the bowl fly out of the park which is what happened.”
The Australian also said that the team will bounce back in their next game against Delhi Daredevils.
“It’s not the end of the world, we are going to show a turnaround, that’s the beauty of IPL, turn against Delhi in two days time. I am sure we will bounce back nicely,” he said optimistically.
Rohit struck eight boundaries and two sixes, while Pollard, blasted six sixes and two boundaries to take the team to victory.
When asked despite being such a destructive batsman, why Pollard isn’t rated as high as Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, the 26-year-old said, “I think those guys (Gayle, AB, Kohli bat top of the order and they set the platform and sometimes it can be seen they are still not out in the end of 20 overs or so. Pollard has a slightly easier role if you put it as he comes later on in the innings.
“So I think it is much harder for the batsmen at the top of the order to set the platform for the rest. Pollard is someone who can come in late and finish off and that is something he is good at. Pollard does his job but I don’t think he chips as much as Gayle, Kohli and AB does.”
Lynn also praised Rohit for holding on till the end to see his side home.
“I think every time I played against him he has got big runs. He had earlier scored runs against KKR, so we planned and worked really hard to knock him out early. He did not panic at any stage of his innings, which is one of the characteristics of a good batsman. He played really well,” he said.
When asked if KKR bowling line-up is too dependent on Sunil Narine, Lynn further added saying, “No, you have seen Shakib (Al Hasan) do job early in the first 6 overs of the tournament. You have seen Umesh (Yadav) get early wickets.
“He will either give you a match-winning performance or a steady performance. We always do not rely on him as every condition is different. With a little bit of dew, it was harder for him tonight.”