IPL 2021: Virender Sehwag Questioned KKR's Andre Russell And Dinesh Karthik's Approach

IPL 2021: Virender Sehwag Questioned KKR’s Andre Russell And Dinesh Karthik’s Approach

Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell | IANS
Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell | IANS

Virender Sehwag questioned KKR batsmen Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik’s approach after they failed to score the required 31 runs off 28 balls against Mumbai Indians in Chennai on Tuesday.

Former India opener Virender Sehwag questioned the batting approach of experienced finishers Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik after they failed to take Kolkata Knight Riders over the line when they need 31 runs off 28 balls against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021 match No. 5 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Andre Russell And Dinesh Karthik (Courtesy by BCCI)
Andre Russell And Dinesh Karthik (Courtesy by BCCI)

Virender Sehwag :

Despite dominating the game for 35 overs, KKR choked in the final stages (last 5 overs) and lost to defending champions Mumbai Indians by 10 runs. KKR was still in control when they lost set batsman Nitish Rana and Shakib Al Hasan in quick succession.

Two of their most trusted finishers Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik came to the crease with the required rate being just above a run-a-ball but due to some bizarre batting and brilliant bowling from Mumbai Indians bowlers, KKR fell short of the target.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag

Andre Russell scored 9 off 15 balls while Dinesh Karthik was unbeaten on 8 off 11 balls without any boundaries to his name. Virender Sehwag said the duo wanted to stay there till the end and keep wickets in hand but could not finish the game.

“Eoin Morgan had given a statement that they will play that way (with positive intent) after the first game but it didn’t look like that when Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik came in to bat. 

“The way Russell and Karthik batted, it felt like they planned to take the game till the end and win it. But that didn’t happen. The batters who came before them – be it Shakib Al Hasan, Eoin Morgan, Shubman Gill or Nitish Rana – all of them played with positive intent,” Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.

Virender Sehwag also added that either of the two openers Nitish Rana or Shubman Gill should have stayed there till the end to close out the match for KKR.

“Either Rana or Gill should have batted till the end. They had seen what had happened in the MI innings, despite getting off to a good start they could only manage 152,” he said.

In pursuit of a 153-run target, KKR was on the course of a sensational win with 122 for 4 in the 15th over. However, the MI bowlers turned the table and restricted Eoin Morgan & Co to 142 for 7. The likes of Rahul Chahar, Krunal Pandya, and Trent Boult dominated in the death overs as KKR managed just 20 runs in the last thirty deliveries.

Virender Sehwag further added that KKR explained how to lose a game from a winning position.

“Kolkata Knight Riders just lost the game which was almost won at one stage. When Russell came into bat, KKR needed 30 runs in 27-odd balls. Dinesh Karthik batted till the end but couldn’t win the game. That’s a shameful defeat,” he said.

“The runs per ball difference wasn’t much except for the last couple of overs. We saw how to lose a game that is almost won. You hardly get any game where you are chasing 152 and you need to score 36-odd runs in 6 overs with 6-7 wickets in hand.

“In such scenarios, teams prefer to end the game quickly to improve their net run rate. But KKR failed to do that and hampered their net-run rate,” he added.

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Former Indian cricketer Ajay Jadeja opined that this defeat will affect KKR in the later stages of IPL 2021.

“This is not just a loss; it’ll act a shock to KKR in the later stages. It will hit them mentally and will need some outstanding performance to come out of that,” said Jadeja.

Rahul Chahar sent back the top four KKR batters (Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, and Eoin Morgan) and registered figures of 4-0-27-4 that won him the Player of the Match award. Andre Russell registered best ever bowling figures by a KKR bowler in IPL history but his maiden 5 wicket haul went in vain as he struggled with the bat once again like IPL 2020 where he had a dismal season.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 152 all out (Suryakumar Yadav 56, Rohit Sharma 43, Andre Russell 5/15) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 142/7 (Nitish Rana 57, Shubman Gill 33, Rahul Chahar 4/27) by 10 runs