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: 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.”
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.
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).