Brendon McCullum, KKR’s head coach is not impressed with the way the campaign has gone for the Knights in the ongoing 14th edition of the IPL after suffering a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Delhi Capitals on Thursday which sees Kolkata Knight Riders sitting at the fifth spot in the points table with just two wins after seven games.
Both Brendon McCullum and skipper Eoin Morgan are associated with playing an aggressive brand of cricket. But the KKR hasn’t managed to do that and Brendon McCullum says it has been nothing short of disappointing at how the team has played so far, including the loss to DC.
Brendon Mccullum: Prithvi Shaw’s Innings Was A Template Of How KKR Wants To Play With An Aggressive Approach
Prithvi Shaw scored the fastest fifty of Indian Premier League 2021 on Thursday during the chase of 155 against Kolkata Knight Riders as due to his 41-ball 82, Delhi Capitals pulled off a comprehensive 7-wicket win to grab second place on the points table.
“I am glad you asked me this. It is very disappointing, as a player you are asked to be given freedom, confidence, and loyalty when it comes to selection. To go out there and take the game on, and be aggressive to try and make things happen for your team.
“That’s the style of play that myself and captain Eoin Morgan have asked of our players. But unfortunately, we are not getting it in abundance that we need and what we saw from Prithvi Shaw tonight was a perfect template of how we want to play,” he said while replying to an ANI query in the post-match virtual press conference.
But Brendon McCullum is clear that if the boys cannot get their act right, he will have to sit with the senior team management and take calls that will see KKR return to winning ways.
“You cannot hit every ball for four or six, you can have the intent to do so. Unfortunately tonight we did not play as many shots, and that has become a theme and there’s a saying that I followed throughout my career — if you cannot change the man, change the man. We need to make some changes and try and bring some fresh personnel who can try to take the game on a bit more,” he pointed.
KKR has maintained their 5th spot in the points table after this defeat. However, with just 2 wins from half of their league games, their chances of qualifying for the playoffs are looking bleak. KKR has batsmen – Karun Nair, Gurkeerat Singh, Ben Cutting, Sheldon Jackson, and Tim Seifert – warming the bench as the side-eye changes in the games to follow.
Brendon McCullum: Batting Order On Paper Is Really Good But Hasn’t Yet Delivered
While the KKR batting line-up looks to have the firepower it needs, the runs on the board have left a lot to be desired and Brendon McCullum feels that the batsmen at the top need to take the initiative when the ball is new as the surface is slow.
“The batting order on paper is really good, but it just hasn’t delivered. You only look at the best games of the guys when you are putting batting order together, unfortunately, we haven’t been able to go on with it to post a suitable score. Andre Russell did well to take us to that score, but on a slow surface like that, you need to maximize the new ball in the fielding restrictions.”
“In T20 cricket, you got to part the old school mentality of scoring a boundary and then taking a one, you have to try and put pressure on opposition teams, if you score boundary, you need to look for another one. It is very difficult if you are not looking for that boundaries. I have asked to be more aggressive and we continue to not do that, we have to make some changes for sure,” Brendon McCullum said.
On the Ahmedabad pitch that seemed like a batting paradise, KKR batsmen only collected 154 runs in their 20 overs. A lion’s share of these came through the late flourish by Andre Russell (45 off 27). The top-3 of Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, and Rahul Tripathi got off to a good start but failed to step on the gas for the umpteenth time in the tournament. Skipper Eoin Morgan was ineffective, and the gamble of promoting Sunil Narine didn’t pay off either.
Sunil Narine has managed to score 10 runs in 4 matches while Eoin Morgan has managed 92 runs in 7 games with a highest of 47 as KKR’s middle order has failed repeatedly this season.
Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals: 156/3 (Prithvi Shaw 82, Shikhar Dhawan 46; Pat Cummins 3/24 ) beat Kolkata Knight Riders: 154/6 (Andre Russell 45*, Shubman Gill 43; Lalit Yadav 2/13) by 7 wickets.