KKR vs RCB | Sportzwiki

KKR vs RCB

Virat Kohli, RCB
Virat Kohli, RCB
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IPL 2021: Virat Kohli Is Unfortunate To Not Finish On A High, Says Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar said Virat Kohli has been able to bring great value to RCB’s brand image despite not winning an IPL title with the Bangalore-based franchise. But, unfortunately, Virat Kohli’s captaincy reign came to a disappointing end on Monday.

Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar empathized with Virat Kohli after the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain ended his reign as the skipper of the franchise without being able to win a title. As a result, RCB lost an opportunity yet again to win an elusive IPL title as they were ousted in the Eliminator of IPL 2021 by Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar: Virat Kohli Finishing Without An IPL Title Is Disappointing But Everyone Don’t Have The Fortune To Finish On A High

Virat Kohli took over as RCB’s full-time captain in 2013 and led them in 140 matches, winning 66 and losing as many as 70. However, despite scoring plenty during his reign as captain, Virat Kohli was not able to win silverware for RCB. Virat Kohli took RCB to the playoffs four times, including the last two seasons, but they have faltered at the big stages.

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)

Speaking to Star Sports on Monday, Sunil Gavaskar conceded that it is disappointing to see Virat Kohli finish without a title but that there is no doubt about his valuable contribution to the team.

“It certainly is (disappointing). Everybody wants to finish on a high. Individually, you want to finish on a high. But these things don’t always happen according to what you wish or your fans wish. Look at what happened to Sir Don Bradman.

“Just 4 runs are needed (for 100 average), he gets out for zero in his last innings. Look at what happened to Sachin Tendulkar. He would have wanted to finish with a hundred (in his last Test) but he got 79 in his 200th Test match,” Sunil Gavaskar said.

“The script is not always written that way. Not everybody has this great fortune of going on a high,” Sunil Gavaskar said.

The batting great added that Virat Kohli had added brand value to RCB that only very few other cricketers have been able to do for their respective franchises. Virat Kohli has scored 4674 runs at an average of 43.27 as captain with an impressive strike rate of 134.11.

With 38 fifties and 5 hundred to his name, Virat Kohli has had a pretty good run with the bat for RCB as captain since taking over the reins from Daniel Vettori. Virat Kohli is the highest run-scorer in IPL history, with 6283 runs in 207 matches averaging 37.39 with 5 tons and 42 fifties.

Sunil Gavaskar: Virat Kohli Was Committed To RCB

Virat Kohli’s RCB posted just 138/7 in 20 overs against KKR in the eliminator as they were humbled by Sunil Narine, who took 4 wickets, including that of the captain, AB de Villiers, and Glenn Maxwell. Riding on Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal’s heroics, RCB took the match to the final over, but it was not enough for them.

“But can one ever dispute what he has done for RCB? He has done magnificently. There was one year where he got 973 runs in T20s in the IPL. Fell short of 27 runs for 1000 runs.”

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)
“That’s such a rarity. Look at what he has done for RCB. He has given RCB a kind of profile, a kind of brand recognition that very few cricketers have given to their franchise. Therefore, yes, it is sad to see him not winning. But the fact he is committed to RCB till he plays just tells you his commitment to RCB,” Gavaskar said.
In 2016, Virat Kohli had a dream run as a batsman, hitting a record-setting 973 runs, including 4 hundred. Despite the heroic effort, RCB lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final. In 2016, he sat atop on the top run-scorers list, thereby donning the Orange Cap at the end of the ninth edition of the league.
In the eliminator against KKR, Virat Kohli top-scored for RCB with 39 runs off 33 balls. He finished off IPL 2021 with 405 runs in 15 IPL 2021 games averaging 28.92 at a strike rate below 120.

Kolkata Knight Riders 139 for 6 (Gill 29, Narine 26, Iyer 26, Chahal 2-16, Harshal 2-19, Siraj 2-19) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 138 for 7 (Kohli 39, Narine 4-21, Ferguson 2-30) by four wickets

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
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Royal Challengers Bangalore Skipper Virat Kohli’s Shot Selection Was Poor – Gautam Gambhir

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) started on a positive note and attacking instinct in the innings batting first in Eliminator, scoring 49 runs in the first five overs against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 Eliminator but it all fizzled out soon.

Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli was once again found losing his momentum after being set and giving his team a fiery start. As questions remain over the manner in which Virat Kohli loses the pace with which he scores, Gautam Gambhir has slammed the manner in which the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain got out.

Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Image Credit: Twitter)

Royal Challengers Bangalore Skipper Virat Kohli Had To Bat Till The 16th Over- Gautam Gambhir

Sunil Narine’s mystery bowling derailed RCB’s innings, with the veteran spinner picking 4 scalps including dismissing the likes of Virat Kohli, KS Bharat, Glenn Maxwell, and AB de Villiers in the middle overs. While there’s no denying that Sunil Narine bowled exceptionally well against Bengaluru, Gautam Gambhir was specifically sceptical over the shot Virat Kohli played that got him out.

Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir(Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS)
Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir(Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS)

“Just poor batting. Poor shot selection as well… Someone who was in should have batted till the 16th over. It started with Virat that he got out at the wrong time playing a shocking shot. And then Glenn Maxwell again, when two balls were left in Sunil Narine’s spell, why would you play that shot? He could have targeted Shivam Mavi,” Gambhir said.

“They should have looked to get 150-155… You need to have a better game plan on who do you want to target and when and what is the situation as well. Virat had to bat till the 16th over and had he got that 60-70, the have could have reached that total.”

During the eliminator on Monday, Sunil Narine gave glimpses of his ‘old mystery’ with the ball and then topped it up with three monster sixes while batting, as KKR’s four-wicket victory dashed Virat Kohli’s dream of winning an IPL trophy while leading Royal Challengers Bangalore.

KKR struck in the 10th over as Sunil Narine picked a wicket in his first over, dismissing KS Bharat. Then, Sunil Narine landed two massive blows in his next two overs. First, he disturbed the timber to get Virat Kohli out for 39 and then bamboozled AB de Villiers to pick his third wicket, pushing RCB on the backfoot. Sunil Narine continued to make merry, and KKR dominated the proceedings as Glenn Maxwell was dismissed in the 17th over.

Sanjay Manjrekar: Virat Kohli Kept Taking The Single And Left KS Bharat To Increase The Run Rate

Sanjay Manjrekar, another former cricketer turned commentator joining Gautam Gambhir in the conversation, agreed with the former India opener felt that skipper Virat Kohli should’ve taken the onus on himself to drive the run-rate but instead, he left it to youngster KS Bharat who struggled to cope with the pressure.

“The only point I want to make here is that… there was that partnership where we could see Bharat was struggling today. It wasn’t his day… but Virat was happy to still give him the single. You know, he was batting at 30 so I think he could have taken the onus on himself being the senior player and more qualified to handle quality spin but he kept taking the single and leaving on Bharat to expedite the run rate. And it was on the cards, I could see that wicket falling because young Bharat was feeling the pressure of getting that run rate up,” opined Manjrekar.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

Sunil Narine didn’t just bamboozle RCB with his mystery bowling, picking up four crucial wickets, but also mesmerized fans with his explosive batting while promoted up the order. With the bat, the Windies all-rounder scored 26 runs from just 15 balls to take the game away from RCB’s hands. As things stand, Virat Kohli ends his career as the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore without a single IPL title to his name. Virat Kohli top-scored for RCB with 39 runs off 33 balls.

Kolkata Knight Riders 139 for 6 (Gill 29, Narine 26, Iyer 26, Chahal 2-16, Harshal 2-19, Siraj 2-19) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 138 for 7 (Kohli 39, Narine 4-21, Ferguson 2-30) by four wickets

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter
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RCB Shouldn’t Make A Long Term Investment On AB de Villiers: Brad Hogg

Brad Hogg, a former Australian spinner, believes the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) should not invest long-term in their veteran batter AB de Villiers.

Instead, Brad Hogg proposed that the franchise could release him ahead of next year’s mega-auction and then get him back on board at a bargain price. The 50-year-old made these remarks on his Twitter account while responding to a fan.

Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images
Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images.

Brad Hogg: AB de Villiers Unsure Of His Future So A Long Term Investment Would Be Risky For RCB

The fan opined that AB de Villiers should be handed the RCB captaincy reins for next season, with Virat Kohli stepping down from the post after IPL 2021. Brad Hogg pointed out that it remains to be seen whether the champion cricketer will participate in the near future editions of the cash-rich league. He feels AB de Villiers’ willingness to compete in the competition should be considered before making a decision on him.

“AB de Villiers is unsure of his future so making a long term investment on him would be risky for #RCB now. RCB maybe wise to put him back in the auction pool this year & try your luck on getting him for a bargain. Nothing about ability it is more about his desire to play#IPL2021.”

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)
AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) stalwart has only managed scores of 0, 12, 11, 4*, 23, 19*, 26, and 11 in the 8 matches ever since the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League began at the UAE after a four-month postponement due to Covid-19 in India. He has scored 313 runs in 15 IPL 2021 games averaging 31.3.

Brad Hogg: Glenn Maxwell Not Suited As A Captain Of An IPL Team

While replying to another fan on the micro-blogging site, the Aussie campaigner stated that Glenn Maxwell is not suited for a leadership role in the IPL. He cited consistency as the major reason for not handing him the captaincy.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Image Credit: Twitter)

However, Brad Hogg mentioned that the dynamic batter could be given an opportunity to lead a team in the Big Bash League. Notably, Glenn Maxwell was appointed as the skipper of the Punjab team for the 2017 season. However, the all-rounder’s stint did not yield a positive result for the franchise as they failed to cut for the all-important playoffs. Glenn Maxwell, in his debut season for RCB, managed 513 runs in 15 games averaging 42.75.

KKR won the eliminator against RCB and will play Delhi Capitals next in Qualifier 2. Three balls of Sunil Narine, with the bat, changed the game, putting Kolkata Knight Riders one step closer to the IPL final. It was tough, though, as Royal Challengers Bangalore was defending a total of 138 with a fearsome spirit. KKR promoted Sunil Narine up the order, and he hammered 3 sixes on the first legal deliveries he faced.

KKR struck in the 10th over as Sunil Narine picked a wicket in his first over, dismissing KS Bharat. Then, Sunil Narine landed two massive blows in his next two overs. First, he disturbed the timber to get Virat Kohli out for 39 and then bamboozled AB de Villiers to pick his third wicket, pushing RCB on the backfoot. Sunil Narine continued to make merry, and KKR continued to dominate the proceedings as Glenn Maxwell was dismissed in the 17th over.

Kolkata Knight Riders 139 for 6 (Gill 29, Narine 26, Iyer 26, Chahal 2-16, Harshal 2-19, Siraj 2-19) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 138 for 7 (Kohli 39, Narine 4-21, Ferguson 2-30) by four wickets

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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Venkatesh Iyer Showed A Lot Of Character For His Breezy 53 Off 30 Balls vs Mumbai Indians: Irfan Pathan

Venkatesh Iyer, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) opener continued from where he left off in the previous game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as he raced to his maiden IPL fifty during the ongoing second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 against defending champions Mumbai Indians.

He registered a score of 53 runs off only 30 balls against a strong Mumbai Indians (MI) bowling line-up, something which garnered praise from former cricketers like Irfan Pathan and Matthew Hayden.

Venkatesh Iyer Of KKR Against RCB
Venkatesh Iyer Of KKR Against RCB (Image: Twitter)

Venkatesh Iyer Showed A Lot Of Character: Irfan Pathan

Speaking on Star Sports’ post-match show, Irfan Pathan stressed the fact that Venkatesh Iyer didn’t sit on his laurels against RCB and played with the same mindset and turned up again against Jasprit Bumrah and company consisting of pacers Trent Boult and Adam Milne and spin duo of Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar.

“The first match, he showed a lot of character. He showed some of the shots as well, cover drive and all. But there is always this question in your mind as a young player, what is going to happen in the next match. Who is going to turn up? Is it the same guy who is going to turn up?” he said.

Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Irfan Pathan also lauded the character shown by Venkatesh Iyer while tackling the likes of world-class pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult.

“He did, he actually turned up better, especially against Bumrah, against Boult. Against the Mumbai Indians bowling line-up, he showed a lot of character. There is a lot more we are going to see of Venkatesh Iyer in the future,” he explained.

Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer played knocks of unbeaten 74 and 53 respectively as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Thursday to register their second consecutive victory in their first two matches at UAE.

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.

In their previous match, the Eoin Morgan-led KKR side chased down the 93 runs target in just ten overs as KKR openers Shubman Gill (48) and debutant Venkatesh Iyer (41 not out) ensured KKR to cruise to a 9 wicket win.

Venkatesh Iyer Impressed Matthew Hayden

Venkatesh Iyer also impressed former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden.

“He got permission from his mother to play cricket. Wonderful stuff because let’s face it, fellas, we are all mummy’s boys at some point,” Hayden said.

Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden (Image Credit: Twitter)

Quinton de Kock’s 55-run knock helped Mumbai Indians post 155/6 against KKR in the allotted twenty overs but the failure of middle-order batsmen especially Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan hurt their chances to win. With this win, KKR has risen to the fourth spot in the points table while Mumbai Indians has slipped to the fifth position. KKR next face Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on September 26.

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).

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).

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
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It’s The Right Time For Virat Kohli To Step Down As RCB Skipper: Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn, former Proteas pacer believes that it is probably the right time for Virat Kohli to step aside from T20 captaincy and focus purely on his batting.

Virat Kohli announced last week that he would step down as India’s T20I captain after the upcoming T20 World Cup and a few days later, he announced that he would also give up the leadership of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) who is yet to win the coveted IPL trophy after the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season.

Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn-RCB Twitter

Dale Steyn: Virat Kohli Is Involved In Everything And It’s The Right Time To Relinquish Captaincy

Dale Steyn had retired from Test cricket after taking 439 scalps from 93 Tests averaging 22.95. Dale Steyn also has 196 ODI scalps and 64 T20I scalps besides his name. Dale Steyn had also taken 97 scalps from 95 IPL matches playing many games for Royal Challengers Bangalore besides skipper Virat Kohli. He has played 33 matches for RCB taking 32 scalps.

“You see the way that he plays, he’s involved in everything, whether he’s in Test matches when he’s standing at first slip or even if he’s at the cover, he wants the ball immediately when it goes to the keeper, he always wants to be involved. But I think sometimes now in this COVID time maybe as Parthiv referred to bubble-life, his family that he’s got,” Dale Steyn said on Star Sports’ Live Feed of Select Dugout’.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

“It’s a lot of responsibility — and playing for RCB before — you see Virat, he’s in every advert and every meeting; he’s just so busy. So maybe it is the right time for him to just put this aside and focus purely on his batting,” Dale Steyn added.

While Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) started well in the first leg of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, they haven’t kick-started the UAE leg on an emphatic note.

Facing Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their first match after season resumption, RCB suffered a humiliating nine-wicket defeat at Abu Dhabi. It was indeed a comprehensive win for the two-time champions as RCB never really looked in the hunt and failed in both batting and bowling departments.

Parthiv Patel: It Has Been A Rollercoaster Ride For Virat Kohli And RCB

Unfortunately for RCB, none of Virat Kohli, Devdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat, and Glenn Maxwell could play a substantial knock. Even, AB de Villiers, who has rescued RCB from numerous batting collapses, got out for a golden duck. As a result, RCB skittled out for just 92 runs. Chasing the mediocre total, KKR didn’t break a sweat.

Speaking about Virat’s decision, former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel said: “I think he looked more emotional than happy. I think when you’re playing for one franchise for so many years, you get that emotional connection which was there in RCB. I think RCB actually invested in Virat Kohli’s talent in 2008 and then showed a lot of trust in him as well because if you look at his and RCB’s journey, it has been a rollercoaster one.”

File image of Parthiv Patel | Vipin Pawar /SPORTZPICS
File image of Parthiv Patel | Vipin Pawar /SPORTZPICS

“But yeah, he might be relieved because see moving around from one bubble to another can take a load on you and he has spoken about the workload and intensity, which he plays with. I think every practice session, every match session or gym session, he does it with full intensity and that’s something I’m sure he must’ve thought about,” he added.

After stumbling to a nine-wicket loss against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Director of Cricket and head coach Mike Hesson said that skipper Virat Kohli’s announcement to step down after the ongoing season did not impact the team’s performance.  Virat Kohli became the first player to play 200 IPL matches for a franchise. Overall, he’s the fifth to get the feat.

Varun Chakravarthy ran through the RCB middle order in Match 31 of IPL 2021. [P/C: iplt20.com]
Varun Chakravarthy ran through the RCB middle order in Match 31 of IPL 2021. [P/C: iplt20.com]
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Varun Chakravarthy Can Be A Huge X-Factor In The T20I World Cup 2021: Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan believes leg spinner Varun Chakravarthy could be an X-factor for the Indian cricket team at the forthcoming T20 World Cup. He reasoned that the mystery element in his bowling is likely to remain.

Varun Chakravarthy is part of India’s 15-member squad for the global event to be played just after IPL 2021 concludes. The mystery spinner showed ample proof of his credentials while registering figures of 3/13 in the Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) thrashing of the star-studded batting line-up of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Monday (September 20).

Varun Chakravarthy
Varun Chakravarthy[photo: Twitter]

Irfan Pathan: Varun Chakravarthy Can Be A Huge X Factor

During a discussion on Star Sports, Irfan Pathan opined that mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy will be the surprise element in India’s bowling attack at the forthcoming T20 World Cup.  After the match concluded, RCB captain Virat Kohli lauded the 30-year-old spinner and called him a key player for Team India. Varun Chakravarthy has also been selected for India’s T20 World Cup squad with Virat Kohli as skipper.

“He can be a huge X-factor. You have not played him in international cricket, you have definitely played him in the IPL but the dynamics are slightly different in the IPL. When you play him in the World Cup after playing him in the IPL, it will still be different, the World Cup pressure will be different and the mystery will remain,” said Irfan Pathan.

Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The former India pacer Irfan Pathan cited the example of his former teammate pacer Zaheer Khan’s knuckleball at the 2011 World Cup to substantiate his point.

Irfan Pathan elaborated: “If you remember the 2011 World Cup, Zaheer Khan started using the knuckle ball in the World Cup and not before that. That was a surprise delivery. So, the surprise factor is definitely beneficial when you play a new thing or bowler. Something similar can happen for Varun Chakravarthy.”

Varun Chakravarthy has represented Team India in just three T20Is to date, which came on their last visit to Sri Lanka. Although he scalped just a couple of wickets, he was extremely economical (5.3).

In KKR’s opening match in the UAE leg, Varun Chakravarthy took the crucial wickets of Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, and Wanindu Hasaranga. Meanwhile, Andre Russell also registered three dismissals including that of AB de Villiers and Lockie Ferguson bagged two wickets. He picked 17 wickets in the 2020 IPL season at an average of 20.94. and 10 scalps in 8 games in IPL 2021 averaging 23.2.

Aakash Chopra: Pitches In The UAE Helpful For Varun Chakravarthy

Aakash Chopra pointed out that the skiddy nature of the UAE pitches is an additional ally for Varun Chakravarthy.

“The pitches currently in the UAE are helpful for him because the ball is skidding after pitching and you are getting less time. If you don’t read from the hand, you try to get a clue off the pitch, which you are not going to get here.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The former India opener concluded by stating that Varun Chakravarthy is a potent threat in the middle overs.

“His performance in the UAE was outstanding last time as well because of which his name came in the Indian team. The same Varun Chakravarthy was a slightly easier bowler to play when you were playing in India because that much fizz was not there after pitching. So, he is a four-over bowler and is a wicket-taking option in the middle overs.”

Varun Chakravarthy will hope to continue in the same vein for the remainder of IPL 2021. A good run here would assure him a spot in India’s starting XI at the T20 World Cup.

Shubman Gill slammed 48 runs off 34 balls, packed with six fours and a maximum. Meanwhile, debutant Venkatesh Iyer remained unbeaten after scoring 41 off 27 balls, consisting of seven fours and a maximum. Andre Russell arrived to bat after the dismissal of Shubman Gill but didn’t face a single delivery, with Venkatesh Iyer wrapping up the game for Kolkata.

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI
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KKR Was Being Paralyzed By Fear Due To COVID-19 Cases: Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders head coach says they were “paralyzed a little bit by fear” when coronavirus struck the first half of the IPL in India. It was KKR’s mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy and seamer Sandeep Warrier, who first tested positive for COVID-19 in May in the middle of the league, which was eventually postponed due to more Covid-19 cases due to bio bubble breaches.

The Purple and Gold brigade led by England white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan had an underwhelming first half. They are languishing at the seventh spot but Brendon McCullum is hopeful for a strong showing when action resumes from September 19 in the UAE.

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

Brendon McCullum: There Were Sometimes Throughout IPL 2021 When KKR Was Being Paralyzed By Fear Due To Covid-19 Cases In The Camp

The spike of positive cases in the bio-bubble had already resulted in the postponement of two IPL games earlier. The KKR vs RCB clash was rescheduled after spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Sandeep Warrier returned with positive results.

Later, the CSK vs RR fixture was also rescheduled after a couple of fresh cases were reported from the CSK camp. However, the governing bodies were forced to take the massive step as two more players – SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra were infected by the virus.

File photos of Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra (left) with SRH's Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source : IPLT20.COM
File photos of Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra (left) with SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source: IPLT20.COM

“In regards to the tournament which is upcoming (second half of the IPL phase), we can end it right. We can take the game on and we’re in a situation where we need things to go our way,” Brendon McCullum was quoted as saying by the KKR website.

“We need to hit the ground running, challenge one another privately, support one another publicly and try and get the best out of one another in the next 4-5 weeks. Who knows where we can go with this. There were sometimes throughout the season when I just felt we were being paralyzed a little bit by fear,” Brendon McCullum added.

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.

Brendon McCullum: KKR Will Just Go Out There And Try And Enjoy The Game

The 39-year-old former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, who started his IPL journey as a player with KKR, is hopeful the team will be able to get rid of the angst that had been built in the first phase of the league.

“I wasn’t able to free the guys up enough to understand that and that’s sort of a challenge for me. But it is also a good challenge for the guys as well that they need to push the envelope of their own thinking as well.”

“Hopefully we will be able to strip away a bit of the angst which had built up in the first part of the season, just go out there and try and enjoy ourselves. That’s the ambition that I have got for the franchise and hence why I am unapologetic and unrelenting in my belief that we need to play a braver style of play,” Brendon McCullum said.

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)

Talking about his coaching style, McCullum said, “When we left India (after IPL was called off due to Covid), I think everyone understood me as a coach on how I want our team to play. I am unapologetic about that as well because my job is to try and build something at KKR that is going to last far longer than I am going to last for the franchise,” McCullum added.

KKR-led by Eoin Morgan will open their second-phase campaign against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore on September 20 in Abu Dhabi. KKR have to lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Delhi Capitals (DC), Punjab Kings (PBKS), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Mumbai Indians (MI), and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the remaining 7 matches.

Standing at the 7th position, the team needs a victory in five matches to ensure a top-four spot. The likes of Tim Seifert, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer, Pawan Negi hasn’t played many games for KKR this season and may get opportunities in the UAE leg.

KKR captain Eoin Morgan Twitter/@KKRiders
KKR captain Eoin Morgan- Twitter/@KKRiders
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Every Captain Is Different: Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan doesn’t want the word “authority” to be associated with a captain. The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper believes it is more important for him to gain the trust of his teammates than trying to stamp his authority on his fellow teammates.

In a video released by the franchise ahead of their fourth game of the season, the 2019 World Cup-winning skipper likened the word “authority” to war movies, saying it makes him laugh when someone associates it with cricket. The England skipper added that he will try to be a good leader who can simply ‘guide’ his players in the right direction.

Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik
Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik| Photo – IPL |

Eoin Morgan: Every Captain Is Different And To Be The Best One Has To Build Trust

Former Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik revealed his thought process before handing over the KKR captaincy to Eoin Morgan mid-way through the last season of IPL held at UAE. Asked what was playing on his mind before he decided to hand over the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captaincy to Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik said he wanted to give a fair chance to the England international.

Eoin Morgan Vipin Pawar / Sportzpics for BCCI
Eoin Morgan. Vipin Pawar / Sportzpics for BCCI

“Every captain is different. The best version of myself is just to be myself. And I operate in a certain way. When the word “authority” is associated with a captain, it makes me laugh. Because it makes me feel like we are watching a war movie or doing something with guns. We play a non-contact sport. So you don’t need to stamp your authority. You need to build trust, be a good leader. If you can do that then that allows you to impart the knowledge to guide the team and that’s what I’ll be trying to do,” said Eoin Morgan.

Eoin Morgan’s KKR placed 5th in the points table after 3 games

With 1 win and 2 losses, KKR are placed 5th in the points table so far in ongoing IPL 2021. They started their campaign on a winning note by defending 188 against Sunrisers Hyderabad win ning by 10 runs. However, since then, their middle-order problems have come to the fore and resulted in back-to-back losses against Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The much-vaunted trio of Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell are yet to win them a game with the bat this season. Shakib Al Hasan, who was expected to provide more stability with the bat, hasn’t fired either. Questions have also been raised about some of Eoin Morgan’s on-field tactics.

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

As seen last season, poor starts in the tournament can leave franchises under too much pressure during the final games of the league stage. KKR would like to shrug off the inconsistency and build on the promise of their leader’s words when they take on Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) suffered a 38-run defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their Indian Premier League 2021 (IPL) match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday on the back of explosive half-centuries from RCB’s Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers. Glenn Maxwell made a 49-ball 78, his second fifty of the season, while AB de Villiers clubbed an unbeaten 34-ball 76.

Against Mumbai Indians, chasing 153 for the win, KKR were cruising nicely at 104 for 2 in the 13th over and were looking like the more likely side to win. The equation came down to 31 off the final five overs with all-rounders Shakib Al Hasan and Andre Russell at the crease. However, Krunal Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, and Trent Boult bowled brilliantly at the death to win it for Mumbai as the last 3 overs saw only 11 runs with 2 wickets.

Defending a target of 188 for victory, KKR restricted SRH to 177 for 5 in 20 overs to win the match and collect 2 important points from their campaign opener in Chennai. The win was Kolkata Knight Rider’s 100th in the IPL.

KKR Predicted XI vs CSK: Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Lockie Ferguson/ Sunil Narine, Harbhajan Singh/ Shivam Mavi, Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav/ Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna.

Sunil Narine (KKR) ©BCCI/IPL
Sunil Narine (KKR) ©BCCI/IPL
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Brendon McCullum : Sunil Narine To Come Under KKR’s Calculations Soon

Brendon McCullum, KKR head coach said that Sunil Narine will be back in the scheme of things very soon. West Indies spinner Sunil Narine is yet to feature in IPL 2021 for Kolkata Knight Riders.

The right-arm bowler has been a regular member of the side but ever since he was forced to correct his action to prevent sanctions for bowling with an ‘illegal action’, he just hasn’t been the same. Heading into his ninth season, Sunil Narine faces some heat for inclusion in playing XI as KKR seemed to have got his back-up in the form of Bangladesh’s star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.

Sunil Narine and Shakib Al Hasan
Sunil Narine & Shakib Al Hasan (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Brendon McCullum: Sunil Narine Certainly Comes Into KKR’s Calculations

A few seasons back, Sunil Narine became an even more important cog of the side when he was promoted up the order to open the batting and provide an explosive start. The gamble failed more often than not. In IPL 2020 in the UAE, Sunil Narine only played 10 matches, unlike the scenario where he’d be playing all the matches. He scored 120 runs and picked 5 wickets.

Brendon McCullum leads Kolkata Knight Riders' warm-up session BCCI
Brendon McCullum leads Kolkata Knight Riders’ warm-up session BCCI

KKR head coach Brendon McCullum, after his wards suffered a 38-run defeat to the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai on Sunday, said that Sunil Narine will be back in the scheme of things very soon. He also revealed that he was not fit and now that their first combination didn’t produce the goods, the management is likely to field fresh legs for the Mumbai leg.

“Sunil Narine stood on the rope before our first game which means he has had an injury where he was not 100 per cent fit. He certainly comes into our calculations, he was touch and go for this game against RCB but we opted for Shakib who has been good for us and he gives us an extra bit of batting. After three games, the guys have played well, we have not got the results, we probably would need some fresh legs for slightly different wickets in Mumbai,” said Brendon McCullum.

KKR on Sunday failed to chase 205. They got off to a strong start when Varun Chakravarthy picked up two wickets in one over of the first innings. Then, Glenn Maxwell (78) helped RCB motor on with excellent innings in the middle overs. The finishing touch was provided by AB de Villiers’ remarkable 76 as RCB surged to 204/4 in 20 overs.

In response, KKR opener Shubman Gill started off well with a blistering cameo of 21 before being sent back by a brilliant diving catch from Dan Christian. Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi scored 25 and 18, respectively but failed to convert their starts.

Yuzvendra Chahal, who hadn’t picked up a single wicket this season, bagged two in as many overs to further dent KKR’s hopes. Eoin Morgan’s 29, Shakib Al Hasan’s 26, and Andre Russell’s 31 went in vain as KKR lost by 38 runs.

RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action during IPL 2020 | Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI
RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action during IPL 2020 | Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI

“In the past, we have not been made to plan much as Maxwell has not been in top form but it appears, he has come this year with a really refreshed attitude. He is taking the game on, we have seen him being successful in the Big Bash and Australia. He took the game away from us in a crunch situation but if we had our time again, we would have tried few different things,” said Brendon McCullum.

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