Brendon Mccullum | Sportzwiki

Brendon Mccullum

Lahore Qalandars celebrate after taking a wicket. Photo: Twitter/PSL
Lahore Qalandars celebrate after taking a wicket. Photo: Twitter/PSL
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Lahore Qalandars Set To Win Prize Money Of Rs 10 Million If They Win PSL 2022

Lahore Qalandars are set to win prize money of Rs 10 million if they win the 2022 Pakistan Super League (PSL), Masud Zafar, the CEO of the Bank of Punjab, said. The BOP CEO and Atif Rana, the CEO of the Lahore Qalandars, signed an agreement during a ceremony ahead of the upcoming PSL edition.

Former cricketer Mohammad Hafeez, the Lahore Qalandars, and the management of the BOP attended the ceremony. After striking the deal with the PSL team, Masud Zafar lauded the tournament for motivating budding cricketers to take up the sport as a profession. He also had words of praise for the Lahore Qalandars.

Lahore Qalandars Picture Credit: Twitter
Lahore Qalandars Picture Credit: Twitter

Lahore Qalandars Will Be Captained By Shaheen Shah Afridi

Lahore Qalandars have started practice matches in preparation for the seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Newly-appointed skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi says that the camp is very important to know the players as it will benefit everyone.  Lahore Qalandars have started their preparations in full swing. After three days of training, the players played a practice match under the leadership of Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Lahore Qalandars’ Shaheen Shah Afridi is the new skipper — AFP
Lahore Qalandars’ Shaheen Shah Afridi is the new skipper — AFP

Pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi has represented Pakistan in 21 Tests, 28 ODIs, and 39 T20Is and has been with the Lahore Qalandars squad since 2018. In that time, he’s picked up 50 wickets from 37 games, which is a record for the franchise. He is their new skipper.

“The PSL promotes healthy activities among the youth as cricket holds special sentiments for the people. The core objective of this alliance is to encourage playing sports and especially cricket among the youth,” Masud Zafar was quoted as saying.

“Lahore Qalandars is not just my favorite team but also of the majority of the cricket fans. It’s not a sponsorship rather it’s a partnership between the two entities with common goals and objectives. To further infuse the interest in the league, new joint products will soon be launched that will be beneficial for both organizations,” he stated.

“Today is a big day of my life as I had started my professional career as a banker and today sitting with the topmost banker of Pakistan makes me really feel proud,” he added.

The Lahore Qalandars have been the perennial underachievers in the history of the PSL. Sohail Akhtar, who is uncapped in international cricket, had stepped up as captain over the past two seasons. Under his leadership, Lahore Qalandars won the 2018 Abu Dhabi T20 trophy and finished runners-up in the PSL in 2020, but lost their way last year when they finished fifth in the six-team league.

Former captain and player of Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Lahore Qalandars (LQ) Mohammad Hafeez has shown support for the new skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi as a captain. The star bowler was named captain of the franchise for the seventh edition of the PSL.

Lahore Qalandars Have Been Runners Up In PSL 2020

Despite having players like Brendon McCullum, Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, and Shaheen Shah Afridi in their ranks, they are yet to get their hands on the coveted trophy. In the first four seasons, they failed to qualify beyond the first round.

Mohammad Hafeez celebrates with teammate Fakhar Zaman. (Photo by Asif HASSAN / AFP) (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Mohammad Hafeez celebrates with teammate Fakhar Zaman. (Photo by Asif HASSAN / AFP) (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)

In 2020, they qualified for the final but lost to the Karachi Kings by five wickets at the National Stadium. In the previous edition, they promised a whole lot, but four losses on the trot showed them the door of elimination. It remains to be seen if they can turn their fortunes around in the upcoming season of the league.

New Zealand cricket team. (Credits: Twitter)
New Zealand cricket team. (Credits: Twitter)
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New Zealand Played Defensively And Didn’t Fire The Bullets They Took In Final Of 2021 T20I WC: Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum, the former New Zealand captain has delivered his verdict on the national team’s performance in the 2021 T20 World Cup final. Brendon McCullum felt the Kiwis had the quality but failed to produce the goods as Australia emerged triumphantly.

Although New Zealand posted a formidable total of 172 after Australia inserted them to bat first, they were no match for the opposition. The Aussies, led by Mitchell Marsh (77*) and David Warner (53) who added 92 together for the second wicket, soared to an eight-wicket win.

Brendon McCullum. (Image Credits: Getty)
Brendon McCullum. (Image Credits: Getty)

Brendon McCullum: New Zealand Didn’t Fire The Bullets They Took

Brendon McCullum believes New Zealand played defensively and didn’t ‘fire the bullets’ they took.

“I don’t want to say we took a knife to a gunfight … we took a gun, but we didn’t fire any bullets. They were a little bit timid. Just a missed opportunity, we didn’t fire the bullets we took.”

New Zealand's Kane Williamson watches Australia players celebrate their T20 World Cup victory. (AP)
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson watches Australia players celebrate their T20 World Cup victory. (AP)

Australia maintained their impressive record against the Black Caps in knockout games, with the latter’s last win coming in 1981. Kane Williamson-led New Zealand would have also looked to avenge their 2015 World Cup final loss but were unsuccessful.

Australia lifted their maiden T20 World Cup trophy with a commanding eight-wicket win over New Zealand in the title clash which was rendered one-sided by Mitchell Marsh with his blistering 77-run knock, on Sunday. Skipper Kane Williamson top-scored for the Black Caps with his 85-run knock while opener Martin Guptill contributed 28 runs after Australia inserted them in to take the first strike.

Brendon McCullum Expected A Bit More From Martin Guptill Who Scored Only 28 Off 35 Balls

Brendon McCullum pointed out that Martin Guptill’s 35-ball 28 was disappointing as he failed to accelerate at the right time. Pacer Josh Hazlewood (3/16) took three out of four wickets to fall in NZ innings while leg-spinner Adam Zampa (1/26) accounted for Martin Guptill. Australian opener David Warner’s 38-ball 53 and Mitchell Marsh’s 50-ball unbeaten 77 meant that Australia overhauled the target with consummate ease in 18.5 overs.

Martin Guptill - AP
Martin Guptill – AP

The 40-year old Brendon McCullum added: “I just expected a bit more from Martin Guptill, he got 28 off 35 balls in the final and that in isolation doesn’t look great. But then when you strip it down, he was 16 off 15 to get under way in the final, and then his next 20 balls he scored 12 runs, that’s the time where you need to be accelerating, and all it did [was] take the air out of us. That was the most glaringly obvious part of our batting.”

Kane Williamson, the Kiwi skipper, played an outstanding knock of 85 and cut loose perfectly. The right-handed batsman took Mitchell Starc to the cleaners, smashing him for 22 runs in his third over after starting slowly. Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough to ensure a win for New Zealand on the night.

Brief Scores:

New Zealand: 172/4 in 20 overs. (K Williamson 85, J Hazlewood 3/16, A Zampa 1/26).

Australia: 173/2 in 18.5 overs. (M Marsh 77 not out, D Warner 53; T Boult 2/18).

Jos Buttler smashed his maiden T20I ton | Photo: Rajasthan Royals
Jos Buttler smashed his maiden T20I ton | Photo: Rajasthan Royals
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Ben Stokes Terms Jos Buttler As Best In The World After His Unbeaten 101 Innings Against Sri Lanka

Ben Stokes, England’s all-rounder, labeled keeper opener Jos Buttler as “best in the world” following the right-handed batter’s century against Sri Lanka in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Jos Buttler smashed his maiden ton before England displayed an all-around performance to defeat Sri Lanka by 26 runs in the Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Ben Stokes Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
Ben Stokes Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

Ben Stokes Tweet Jos Buttler Is The Best Batsman In The World

England scored 163 in 20 overs and then restricted Sri Lanka to 137 to register their fourth win in four games in the tournament. Sri Lanka needed 34 from the final three overs to win the match, but the Lankan Lions lost their last five wickets for eight runs. England has now won all its four matches in the Super 12 stage, and they are all but set to qualify for the semi-finals.

Ben Stokes had decided not to participate in the England-India Test series, the second half of IPL 2021 at UAE, and the T20I World Cup to prioritize his mental well-being over cricket. He, however, would return for Ashes. Unfortunately, Ben Stokes broke his hand, taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League 2021, and a repeat X-ray and CT scan revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger.

Ben Stokes’ teammate, Rajasthan Royals opener Jos Buttler, wasn’t at his usual best before he came to his own with a scintillating 124 versus Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), just a few days before BCCI suspended IPL 2021 due to Covid-19 threat. Jos Buttler didn’t play the second leg of IPL 2021 held a UAE.

“Best in the world @josbuttler,” tweeted Ben Stokes on Monday.

https://twitter.com/benstokes38/status/1455199358924824576?s=20

 Jos Buttler joins elite list with maiden T20 World Cup hundred (AP Photo)
Jos Buttler joins the elite list with maiden T20 World Cup hundred (AP Photo)

Jos Buttler put on a fine show of T20 batting on Monday in Sharjah as he struck his maiden T20I hundred. The England batter became the first to get to the 3-figure mark in the T20 World Cup 2021 as he hammered 101 not out in just 67 balls on a tough pitch against Sri Lanka in their Super 12 match.

Jos Buttler became the first England men’s team batter to hit a hundred in all 3 formats of international cricket. He also became the second England men’s team batsman after Alex Hales hit a hundred in a T20I World Cup. Jos Buttler also joined an elite list of batters who have scored hundreds in the showpiece T20 event.

Jos Buttler joined the likes of Chris Gayle (2), Ahmed Shehzad, Alex Hales, Mahela Jayawardene, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, and Tamim Iqbal after the stunning knock on Monday.

Jos Buttler Felt Staying Patient Was The Key When England Lost Early Wickets

England might have managed to defeat Sri Lanka in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, but wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler admitted that his side England was under pressure in the second innings, and he hailed the bowling attack in ensuring the Three Lions walk away with another victory.

.”I think staying patient was the key (when England lost early wickets), but I managed to get a partnership with Morgan. I found it really tough early on in the innings. There was a point when we were thinking to get to the 120-run mark, but then we got going and got 160-plus. I use the same bat, even in the nets. It feels good,” said Buttler after the game ended.

Eoin Morgan | Photo: England Cricket
Eoin Morgan | Photo: England Cricket

England was reeling at 47/3 at the end of the 10th over, but a 100-plus stand between Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan helped the 50-over World Champions post an above-par total of 163/4 in 20 overs.

Head coach Brendon McCullum says KKR will make couple of changes in Mumbai (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
Head coach Brendon McCullum with skipper Eoin Morgan (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
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Brendon McCullum Admits His Style Of Coaching Or Leadership For KKR During IPL 2021 Was Perhaps “Wild”

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders head coach, has said that his coaching style during the IPL this year, initially in India and later in UAE, was “a little wild”.

After struggling in the first leg of the tournament in India, KKR made a remarkable turnaround when the event was moved to the UAE, reaching the finals to play eventual champions Chennai Super Kings, where they lost.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

Brendon McCullum’s Style Of Coaching Or Leadership Was Perhaps Wild

KKR ended the season as runners-up, which was impressive, because they had won just two of their seven games in the India leg of the tournament. Eventually, CSK was the better team on the day as KKR fell short of their third IPL title.
Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Brendon McCullum played in the IPL as a player from 2008 to 2018. Brendon McCullum featured in 109 matches in the IPL and amassed 2881 runs with a strike rate of 131.61. In the opening season, Brendon McCullum’s 158 not out for the Kolkata Knight Riders is still engraved in every IPL fan.

“My style of leadership or coaching was perhaps a little wild,” Brendon McCullum said.

Shubman Gill amassed 478 runs in 17 games, while Nitish Rana amassed 383 runs and Rahul Tripathi managed 397 runs, while the likes of Eoin Morgan (133 runs) and Dinesh Karthik (223 runs) failed to deliver with the bat. Pacer Lockie Ferguson picked 13 scalps, spinners Sunil Narine picked 16, and Varun Chakravarthy picked 18 scalps- the highest by a KKR bowler. Indian pacers Shivam Mavi and Prasidh Krishna were also among the wickets.

Brendon McCullum: KKR Rocked In The Second Half Of IPL 2021

The former New Zealand captain, though, was pleased to see the comeback KKR made in the league.

“It takes a little while to really dig down and thankfully we were able to do it in the second half of the tournament and we got a bit more intent into batting and then we were able to play a bit more of an aggressive form of cricket. Thankfully it translated to results and we got on a bit of a roll.”

Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram

KKR had just two wins out of seven matches at the end of the first leg and was placed seventh. But, in the second half of the tournament in the UAE, they won five out of their remaining league matches to make the playoffs, and then, the finals.

“We rocked in the second half of the tournament, we were kind of dead and buried (after starting with two wins and five losses). We were under a fair amount of pressure with two wins from seven games and seventh on the table out of eight. The expectations on us were pretty low,” said McCullum, who won the IPL 2012 title with KKR as a player.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum was full of praise for the impact that opener Venkatesh Iyer and the rest of the Indian top-order batsmen (Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, and Nitish Rana) had in the second half of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL).
In opening the innings with Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer scored 370 runs in 10 innings and even put in handy shifts with the ball, taking three wickets in the season. In just 10 IPL 2021 games, all at UAE, the opener Venkatesh Iyer has 370 runs beside his name, averaging 41.11 with as many as 4 fifties. It was his debut IPL season, where he also picked 3 scalps averaging 23 with the ball.
Stephen Fleming Image Source: IPLT20.COM
Stephen Fleming Image Source: IPLT20.COM
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Stephen Fleming Becomes Most Successful IPL Coach By Winning 4th IPL Title

Stephen Fleming on Friday became the most successful coach in the Indian Premier League after Chennai Super Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs to win their fourth title in Dubai. Stephen Fleming, who has been CSK coach since 2009, surpassed Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene with his fourth title – 2010, 2011, 2018, and 2021.

Stephen Fleming is the most successful coach of IPL. Under his guidance CSK won 4 IPL Title ( 2010,2011,2018, 2021) and one CLT20 (2010).

Stephen Fleming also won the battle of the Kiwi coaches as his CSK outclassed Brendon McCullum's KKR.
Stephen Fleming also won the battle of the Kiwi coaches as his CSK outclassed Brendon McCullum’s KKR. (Courtesy of BCCI).

Stephen Fleming Wins 4th IPL Title As Coach Surpassing MI’s Mahela Jayawardene Who Has 3 Titles

On the other hand, MI coach Mahela Jayawardene has won 3 trophies with MI in 2017, 2019, and 2020. Stephen Fleming also won the battle of the Kiwi coaches as his CSK outclassed Brendon McCullum’s KKR for the third successive time in IPL 2021.

“We have had a number of finals, but crossing the line is what you want to conquer. There has been a bit of criticism about the age of players on our side, but the players have stepped up. We value youth, but experience is very important. We don’t go too deep into the numbers, analytics, but are a team more on instincts. Yes we are a bit old school in that sense but it works for us in this group,” Fleming said after the match.

Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene (Photo| Mumbai Indians website)
Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene (Photo| Mumbai Indians website)

The four-time champions’ 2020 campaign was disastrous as they could not reach the playoffs for the first time in IPL history. They finished seventh in the rankings, and MS Dhoni’s captaincy reign came under question. But they turned it around in IPL 2021 in style, finishing as winners lifting the elusive trophy for the 4th time.

In the IPL 2021, the likes of CSK openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (635 runs) and Faf du Plessis (633 runs) finished as leading run-getters in IPL 2021. Moeen Ali (357 runs), Ambati Rayudu (257 runs) also delivered in crunch situations. Dwayne Bravo (14), Deepak Chahar(14), Ravindra Jadeja(13), Josh Hazlewood(11), and Shardul Thakur(21) were amongst the wickets.

Faf du Plessis Anchored Chennai’s Innings With 86 Off 59 Balls In IPL 2021 Finals

Put into bat, Chennai amassed 192-3 with opener Faf du Plessis anchoring their innings with 86 off 59 balls. Ruturaj Gaikwad made 32, while Robin Uthappa (31) and Moeen Ali (37 not out) chipped in with useful cameos. Kolkata, led by England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan, got off to a flying start with a 91-run stand between openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer before wheels came off their innings finished on 165-9.

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)

Eoin Morgan made four runs, and only four Kolkata batsmen managed double-digit scores. Shardul Thakur returned 3-38, while Ravindra Jadeja claimed 2-37 and took two stunning catches to hurt Kolkata. It was a dream comeback for the Men in Yellow as CSK, who missed out on the play-offs berth for the first time in the history of the tournament in 2020, romped to the title in 2021, making a statement once again.

MS Dhoni’s men came up with a nearly spotless campaign as they qualified for the play-offs ahead of the chasing pack and asserted their dominance in the knockout stages before eventually winning IPL 2021.

Andre Russell. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Andre Russell. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
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Brendon McCullum Opens Up On Andre Russell’s Unavailability For IPL 2021 Final

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach, has explained why star all-rounder Andre Russell didn’t play the much-awaited IPL 2021 final against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Chasing a stiff target of 193 against CSK in Dubai on Friday, KKR fell short by 27 runs.

Brendon McCullum said West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell tried hard to recover from his hamstring tear but was still a ‘big risk’ to play him in the final. He explained that recovery from hamstring injuries is difficult to determine. So he said KKR decided to stick with the same team that saw them reach the finals after qualifying for playoffs thus far in the competition.

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Brendon McCullum: Playing Andre Russell Was A Risk In The IPL 2021 Final, Which KKR Couldn’t Afford To Take

Andre Russell has been the trump card for KKR. He has scored 183 runs from 10 IPL 2021 games averaging 26.14, and also has picked 11 scalps averaging 17.09, including a career-best 5/15. However, Andre Russell has missed his sixth straight game for Kolkata ever since injuring his hamstring against CSK.

While speaking at a post-match press conference, Brendon McCullum said about Russell: “Yeah, look, Andre obviously had a hamstring tear early on in the competition. He worked unbelievably hard to try and get himself available. He was still at risk there. And I felt (if) it was a risk in a final, we just couldn’t afford to take.”

“And then we had another hamstring issue with Rahul Tripathi so, look, such is the nature of hamstrings that you are just never sure whether they are going to be fully healed or not, and it’s such a big risk. “

Andre Russell celebrates a wicket - BCCI/IPL
Andre Russell celebrates a wicket – BCCI/IPL.

Brendon McCullum added: “In the end, we decided to go for the guys who had done so well to get us into the final, and I am proud of all their achievements. It’s a shame we fell short, but we were outplayed by a very good CSK side today.”

Andre Russell strained his hamstring while fielding against CSK in a league game. He missed the subsequent few games for injury, so KKR replaced spin all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. However, the Bangladesh all-rounder proved key in KKR’s success at the spin-friendly grounds in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

However, many fans vouched for Andre Russell’s return to the KKR eleven even if he was not fully fit because of the flat nature of the Dubai wicket. In hindsight, they were probably right, as Shakib Al Hasan returned figures of 0-33 (three overs) and scored a golden duck.

Brendon McCullum: Eoin Morgan Captained KKR At His Best But Wasn’t Fruitful While Scoring Runs With Bat

McCullum said in this regard: “Yeah, look, it’s a really unique situation, wasn’t it? He was really captaining out of his skin. He captained as well as I have ever seen him captain and as well as I have seen anyone really captain in a T20 competition.”

Head coach Brendon McCullum says KKR will make couple of changes in Mumbai (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
Head coach Brendon McCullum with skipper Eoin Morgan (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)

“I thought he was driving the team forward with his captaincy, but unfortunately, the runs weren’t there for him. No matter how hard he tried, we tried to put him in that position where he’s been so successful – in those last five overs – in T20 cricket right throughout his career. But unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.”

Former New Zealand captain concluded by saying he hoped that the out-of-form batsmen Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik would deliver under pressure in the final, but that wasn’t to be.

Brendon McCullum said in this regard: “There are many examples over the years of guys who have struggled for form coming into big games, (and) they have been able to find something in that situation to get that performance. And that’s what I was clinging on to tonight for both the captain and the vice-captain as well. But it wasn’t to be. Those guys played their hearts out and did their absolute best, but just weren’t able to get those performances that they would have liked…”

KKR ended the season as runners-up, which was impressive, considering the fact that they had won just two of their seven games in the India leg of the tournament. Eventually, CSK was the better team on the day as KKR fell short of their third IPL title.

Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
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Covid-19 Induced Break Came At The Right Time For Venkatesh Iyer: Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum hailed the impact Venkatesh Iyer, and the rest of his Indian players had in the UAE, allowing the team to bounce back from a dismal position after the first half of the season and reach the final.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum was full of praise for the impact that opener Venkatesh Iyer and the rest of the Indian top-order batsmen (Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, and Nitish Rana) had in the second half of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL). As a result, KKR went from having just two wins in seven matches to reach the final in the UAE leg of the season.

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Brendon McCullum: Venkatesh Iyer Has Been An Incredible Story

In opening the innings with Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer scored 370 runs in 10 innings and even put in handy shifts with the ball, taking three wickets in the season. In just 10 IPL 2021 games, all at UAE, the opener Venkatesh Iyer has 370 runs beside his name, averaging 41.11 with as many as 4 fifties. It was his debut IPL season, where he also picked 3 scalps averaging 23 with the ball.

“Venkatesh Iyer has been an incredible story. He was actually going to play in the next game after what turned out to be our last game in India but the break came at the right time there in a funny way. It gave him the opportunity to get a couple of months of cricket under his belt,” Brendon McCullum told the media after KKR’s 27-run defeat to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the final on Friday.

“Then it was just a matter of bringing the game that he owns. The ‘Venkatesh Iyer Game Plan’ which is an aggressive intent. He is a big presence, a tall man, plays the game with a kind of a cavalier streak. It is so important to hold on to that because he might be challenged to change his methods,” said Brendon McCullum.

Venkatesh Iyer scored a half century in the final.
Venkatesh Iyer scored a half-century in the final. (Courtesy of BCCI)
“He might not be the most consistent with his flamboyance but I hope he remains the Venkatesh Iyer we have seen so far. He has got a big future in this game and he is a very intelligent man. I thank him for all his efforts he was a big catalyst for our turnaround this season,” said Brendon McCullum.

Shubman Gill amassed 478 runs in 17 games, while Nitish Rana amassed 383 runs and Rahul Tripathi managed 397 runs, while the likes of Eoin Morgan (133 runs) and Dinesh Karthik (223 runs) failed to deliver with the bat.

Brendon McCullum: Break Came At The Right Time

Brendon McCullum said that the Covid-19 induced break in the season came at the right time for KKR as they could regroup from the dismal start they had to the season. But, unfortunately, the likes of KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Sandeep Warrier and SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra were contracted with the Covid-19 virus, which eventually led to the postponement of IPL 2021 in India and the remainder of the league was moved to UAE.

The virus had wreaked havoc in India at that time, claiming thousands of lives. Prasidh Krishna, who has been picked as a standby player for England tour, became the fourth Kolkata Knight Riders player to test positive for Covid-19. KKR wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert was reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 earlier.

“The break came at a right time for us, it is difficult to keep your composure when the results are going against you. We had just two wins in seven games so the break came at a good time. We had some conversations in those months with some guys to smooth out some rough edges,” said Brendon McCullum.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Always felt that our intent needed to increase to put pressure back on the opposition. I can’t speak highly enough about our top four Indian batters what they achieved during the second half of the tournament. It takes guts to play the way they did and courage to trust the way that we were asking them to play. They were absolutely fantastic and a massive reason we had such a huge chance at winning this competition,” Brendon McCullum said.

In IPL 2021 final, CSK opener Faf du Plessis led the charge, making 86 as he anchored half-century stands for each of the three wickets that fell during the course of Super Kings’ 192. Robin Uthappa and Moeen Ali played their parts with the bat before Shardul Thakur ended Venkatesh Iyer’s innings – and a dangerous opening stand – to cut Knight Riders’ middle-order open and consign them to their first defeat in an IPL final.

Chennai Super Kings 192 for 3 (du Plessis 86, Moeen 37*, Narine 2-26) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 165 for 9 (Gill 51, Iyer 50, Thakur 3-38, Hazlewood 2-29) by 27 runs

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. Image Credits: Twitter
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Before The Resumption Of IPL 2021 In UAE, Not Many Thought KKR Would End Up In Top 4: Deep Dasgupta

Deep Dasgupta lauded the Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) stunning efforts to qualify for the playoffs of the Indian Premier League 2021. However, he acknowledged that no one would have counted on the Kolkata-based franchise to finish in the top four before the resumption of the IPL in the UAE.

When the 14th edition of the tournament was halted in May due to the COVID-19 outbreak in India and bio bubble breaches, KKR was placed second from the bottom of the table and had won just two matches out of their first seven. However, Brendon McCullum’s side manifested a fearless approach in the second leg.

Deep Dasgupta
Deep Dasgupta. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Deep Dasgupta: Before The Resumption Of IPL 2021 In UAE, Not Many Thought KKR Would End Up In Top 4

While reviewing every franchise’s performance during the league stage, Deep Dasgupta praised the Eoin Morgan-led side. After KKR’s impressive display during the second leg, he said that they now have the much-needed confidence and momentum in their side. However, deep Dasgupta also opined that the biggest issue for the two-time champions is the unavailability of Andre Russell in the last few games, as it remains to be seen if he is available for the playoffs.

“They (KKR) are pretty much in form the way they’re playing right now. The biggest issue is the unavailability of Andre Russell. It remains to be seen whether he will be available for the knockouts. But it looks like they’re a solid team, have momentum on their side and have instilled confidence. Before the resumption of the second half of the IPL, not many would have thought they would end up in the top 4. And the fact that they have qualified, tells you that they are in very good form.”

Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

Brendon McCullum’s troops will look to lift their third IPL trophy this season. They will face the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Eliminator at the Sharjah Cricket Ground on October 11.

Deep Dasgupta: Rajasthan Royals Missed Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, And Jos Buttler

Meanwhile, the Men in Pink Rajasthan Royals took their inconsistent form from India to the UAE. Before the resumption of the competition, the Rajasthan Royals were in the fifth position after playing seven matches and winning only three games.

Deep Dasgupta opined that RR hand-picked their overseas contingent as the nucleus of the side, which eventually paved their downfall. The side’s star players, like Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, and Ben Stokes, were unavailable for the UAE leg of the competition. Moreover, the new signings – West Indian duo of Evin Lewis and Oshane Thomas, New Zealand cricketer Glenn Phillips, and South Africa’s left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi didn’t help the cause of Rajasthan to progress into playoffs.

Jofra Archer missed out from playing in IPL 2021 due to injury, while Jos Buttler, who was recently blessed with a child, opted out of IPL 2021 UAE leg, and Ben Stokes prioritized his mental wellbeing and decided to not play in India’s Test tour and IPL 2021 besides T20I World Cup 2021.

“They finished seventh in the table and you have to feel bad for them. They missed out on their big names. Rajasthan’s philosophy has always been to find success around their overseas players like Archer, Buttler, Stokes. Unfortunately, Jofra was not available for the franchise during the first leg, who was one of their best players last season. Unfortunately again in the second half, there was no Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes available as well.”

Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson
Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Deep Dasgupta also stated that the consistent form of their skipper, Sanju Samson, was the biggest positive for the side. The 26-year-old amassed 484 runs at an incredible average of 40 runs per match in 14 encounters for his side. He was also the first player to score a hundred this season. Deep Dasgupta praised the wicket-keeper batsman.

“But the biggest positive for them was their captain Sanju’s consistent performance. Down the years the main issue with him was his inconsistency but this season, we’ve seen his maturity. His consistency is good news for Indian cricket as well. The only thing is that they were let down massively from their overseas contingent due to the unavailability.”

Considering their performances this season, Rajasthan Royals will look to revamp their entire squad for the cash-rich league in 2022.
KKR captain Eoin Morgan Twitter/@KKRiders
KKR captain Eoin Morgan- Twitter/@KKRiders
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We Want Some More Runs From Eoin Morgan, Says Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders coach on Friday admitted that captain Eoin Morgan’s lack of form is not a good sign and demands runs from the skipper’s bat for the upcoming matches. Kolkata Knight Riders lost their IPL match against Punjab Kings by 5 wickets.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Eoin Morgan’s lack of form in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 has been a talking point in the ongoing season. In the last five matches, since the resumption of IPL 2021, Eoin Morgan has failed to cross the double digits. He has contributed only 7,8,0 and 2 in the last 4 matches at UAE leg.

Head coach Brendon McCullum says KKR will make couple of changes in Mumbai (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
Head coach Brendon McCullum with skipper Eoin Morgan (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders Coach Said Team Wants Some More Runs From Skipper Eoin Morgan

The skipper has managed only 17 runs in 4 innings so far when IPL 2021 resumed in UAE. After KKR’s five-wicket loss against Punjab Kings, coach Brendon McCullum also questioned Eoin Morgan’s lack of form with the bat.

“Morgan is one of our senior players, and he is one of our international batters. As captain also, in his own head he would have liked to contribute a lot more runs,” said Brendon McCullum during a virtual post-match press conference.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Actually, I think he has captained the side really well tactically. We want some more runs from him. No doubt in that, you need some runs from your overseas batter. Look, I am confident that he will come right,” Brendon McCullum added.

The 2019 World Cup-winning captain made a return to the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2020 after being one of the top buys for KKR in the 2020 IPL Auction. He also took over captaincy duties from Dinesh Karthik mid-season in 2020 but hasn’t been consistent with the bat and as skipper. He scored 418 runs from 145 games in IPL 2020 averaging 41.8 but is clearly struggling in IPL 2021 managing only 109 runs from 12 appearances averaging a pathetic 10.9.

Eoin Morgan has scored 109 runs in 11 innings so far in IPL 2021 at an average of 10.98 and a strike rate of 100.92. While there have been several instances of franchises changing their captains because of a lack of runs, KKR has stressed that Eoin Morgan will stay in the role.

Brendon McCullum: Punjab Kings Deserved To Win As They Seized The Key Moments

Punjab Kings boosted their chances of making the IPL play-offs with a five-wicket close win over KKR as effective death over bowling and smart batting by skipper KL Rahul and Shahrukh Khan shaped their crucial victory in Dubai on Friday. KL Rahul scored 67 runs off 55 balls.

He shared a 70-run stand with fellow teammate opener Mayank Agarwal (40), knocking off a 166-run target with three balls to spare. Shahrukh Khan then produced an impactful 9-ball 22-run knock when it mattered and finished the match with a six.

“We played a great game, Punjab Kings deserved to win because they seized the key moments. I still felt we had a chance in the game, with two overs to go. It was a touch and go, small margin in the game, which didn’t go our way,” said Brendon McCullum.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Earlier, Venkatesh Iyer hit a fluent 67 while Nitish Rana produced a fiery 31 off 18 balls before Punjab Kings managed to stop KKR at 165 for 7.

“Venkatesh Iyer is definitely an all-rounder. It is not just his cricketing ability, it is his mindset and cricketing brain. He is a guy with huge ambition and has a great as a general all-rounder. I think he is one of those cricketer, who is going to get better and better,” said Brendon McCullum.

Kolkata Knight Riders will face SunRisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Sunday. KKR, who have ten points from 12 matches, now need to win their next two matches against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals and hope some other results go their way as well.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. Image Credits: Twitter
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The Spirit Of Brendon McCullum Imbibed By Rest Of KKR In IPL 2021 UAE Leg: Ian Bishop

Ian Bishop, the former West Indies pacer turned commentator feels the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have imbibed the spirit of their head coach Brendon McCullum during the COVID-19-enforced break-in IPL 2021.

KKR registered a thumping seven-wicket win over the dominant defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) on Thursday to keep their winning momentum intact in the UAE leg after beating Royal Challengers Bangalore the other night by 9 wickets after dismissing them for a sub 100 total.

Ian Bishop
Ian Bishop. (Photo by MICHAEL STEELE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Ian Bishop: The Spirit Of Head Coach Brendon McCullum Has Been Imbibed By Rest Of KKR

KKR struggled in the first half of IPL 2021 with just two wins in seven matches before the tournament was suspended due to COVID-19 concerns and bio bubble breaches. However, the Kolkata-based franchise has won both their first two matches in commanding fashion since the tournament resumed in the UAE.

Ian Bishop said regarding KKR’s improved form: “I was tweeting that during the interval after the first half, there seems to have been a religious experience that has taken place where the spirit of McCullum has been imbibed by the rest of the team. That’s exactly how [Eoin] Morgan and McCullum would have wanted the team to play, it’s exactly how those guys played the game.”

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Ian Bishop added: “If they continue doing this for the rest of the games and qualify and do well in the IPL, then a lot of the philosophies, including part of my philosophy on how the game is played, will have to be adjusted.”

Brendon McCullum played a destructive knock of 158 off 73 balls in the 1st ever match in IPL’s inaugural edition in  2008 to show the world what they are going to witness in the marquee Indian Premier League (IPL). His innings were filled with 10 fours and 13 maximums. This was the only ton to date from a KKR batsman. He has instilled confidence and self-belief in the KKR team after being appointed as coach.

Before thrashing the MI by seven wickets and nearly five overs to spare while chasing 156, KKR had beaten Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by nine wickets after bowling Virat Kohli’s team out for 92. KKR is now fourth in the IPL 2021 table and is firmly in the race for a top-four finish.

Venkatesh Iyer, who scored an unbeaten 41 off 27 deliveries on his KKR debut against RCB, put in yet another fine performance against MI. Venkatesh Iyer once again got off to a blistering start and along with Rahul Tripathi, he took the game away from five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians.

Ian Bishop Credited The KKR Team Management For Instilling Confidence In Venkatesh Iyer

Venkatesh Iyer hit four boundaries and three sixes during his entertaining 30-ball 53 knock before eventually being dismissed by pacer Jasprit Bumrah who took all 3 scalps. But by the time he left the crease, KKR had effectively won the match. Ian Bishop praised the KKR team management for giving opener Venkatesh Iyer the freedom to go out and play the way he wants while also complimenting the left-handed batsman’s skills.

Venkatesh Iyer made a quick-fire half century (53 off 30) against Mumbai Indians to follow up on his unbeaten 41 against RCB (Twitter/KKR)
Venkatesh Iyer made a quick-fire half-century (53 off 30) against Mumbai Indians to follow up on his unbeaten 41 against RCB (Twitter/KKR)

The former Windies pacer Ian Bishop explained: “You’ve got to give the management staff great credit for giving a guy confidence to go and play that way. The intent is one thing, but having the ability to go out there and carry it out is another aspect of it that is sometimes overlooked. It’s amazing that he’s been sort of hidden away in domestic cricket up until now.”

Although Venkatesh Iyer stole the limelight with his maiden IPL half-century, it was Rahul Tripathi, who top-scored for KKR with his unbeaten 42-ball 74, a knock studded with eight fours and three maximums. Tripathi scored an unbeaten 74 off 42 balls and Venkatesh Iyer, playing his second IPL game, smashed 53 off 30 balls, as Kolkata raced to 159 for 3 in 15.1 overs, chasing down Mumbai Indians’ 155 for 6 quite comfortably.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 155/6 (Quinton de Kock 55, Rohit Sharma 33; Lockie Ferguson 2-27) vs KKR 159/3 (Rahul Tripathi 74*, Venkatesh Iyer 53, Jasprit Bumrah 3-43).

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