Ajit Agarkar, former Indian pacer, who played for KKR in the past from 2008 to 2010, believes that there are things not right within KKR camp which affected their season.
The Kolkata Knight Riders saw a fair share of ups and downs in the Indian Premier League 2020 season finishing as 5th in the points table. KKR won 7 and lost 7 matches like Hyderabad and Bangalore but didn’t qualify for playoffs for being behind in Net Run Rate.
Ajit Agarkar: Kolkata Should Have Played Better Or Showed Consistency With Many Match Winners In Side
KKR was the only franchise in the UAE to change their captain in the middle of the season with Dinesh Karthik handing over captaincy reins to Eoin Morgan. KKR also failed to find consistency, eventually losing out on a playoff spot on the basis of Net Run Rate despite finishing with 14 points in 14 games.
“I think there are couple of teams, CSK certainly need a little bit of restructuring,” he said on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected.
“But the one team I hope plays better or plays a bit more consistently is KKR. I think they certainly have a lot of match-winners in them or T20 specialists if you like, they should be doing a lot better,” Agarkar added.
Former Indian fast bowler Ajit Agarkar, who has played for KKR in the past, believes that KKR should have played more consistently due to having a lot of match-winners or T20 specialists like Andre Russell, who was a total failure this season. Other batsmen like Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill and Eoin Morgan scored runs but lacked consistency.
Ajit Agarkar: Somehow Kolkata Scrapes Through To Playoffs Which Didn’t Happen This Time
Pacer Pat Cummins and spinner Sunil Narine had an offseason. Lockie Ferguson started remarkably well but faded away. He should have played more matches. Prasidh Krishna and Kamlesh Nagarkoti didn’t get enough wickets. Dinesh Karthik failed with the bat while Rahul Tripathi showed promise but lacked consistency, while spinner Kuldeep Yadav disappointed again.
Ajit Agarkar noted that KKR were in better positions and should have at least qualified for playoffs, but it didn’t work as they lacked consistency and suffered heavy defeats under Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians twice badly which hurt them in the long run.
“They were in better positions, changed the captain for some reason midway through. You could see that there was something not right in the camp,” he said.
“I think it has happened before as well and somehow they scraped through to the playoffs but this time it didn’t happen. It came back to bite them,” Agarkar further said.
“The T20 format is very difficult to be consistent but they have got far too good a team to be that. So I hope they get those things right, especially get the leadership right, whoever it is, and stick to it during the course of the season,” he signed off.
Ajit Agarkar hopes they get those things like captaincy and consistency right to be successful in forthcoming IPLs.
The only silver lining in KKR camp was spinner Varun Chakravarthy getting 17 wickets in 13 games averaging 20.94 at an economy rate of less than 7 which is creditable enough by T20 standards. A lot was expected from Andre Russell but he scored only 117 runs averaging a pathetic 13 and picked up 6 wickets averaging 29.16 from 10 matches.
KKR scored only 84/8 in 20 overs against RCB and lost the match by 8 wickets. They lost to 7th placed Chennai Super Kings too which was decided by a last-ball sixer. Dinesh Karthik having won 4 and lost 3 handed over the captaincy to Eoin Morgan midway under whom KKR won 3 and lost 4.