DC vs KKR, IPL 2021: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) slumped to yet another defeat in IPL 2021. On Thursday, their 7-wicket loss to Delhi Capitals had all signs of surrender. With the bat, KKR did not make enough runs while they let Prithvi Shaw dictate the game, losing five out of 7 matches this season. While KKR have stuck with a similar Playing XI so far, coach Brendon McCullum was disappointed and said the team will make changes, bringing in some fresh players, who will have more intent.
“It’s very, very disappointing. I think as a player, you asked to be given freedom and confidence and loyalty when it comes to selection to go out there and take the game on and to try and be aggressive and, and to try and make things happen for your team. That’s a style of play, which both myself and the captain have asked of our players. But unfortunately, we’re not quite in there yet. We’re certainly not getting it in the balance that we needed,” Brendon McCullum said at the post-match press conference on Thursday.
“I think what we saw from Prithvi Shaw tonight was a perfect template of how we want to play. Now, you’re not always going to be able to hit every ball for four or six, but you can have the intent to do so. Particularly, when you’re given a free license and it’s very difficult to play. If you don’t play shots to score runs and unfortunately, tonight we didn’t play enough shots and it’s become a bit of a theme. The sign that I’ve sort of used throughout my career is if you can’t change, name, change men. So, we’ll probably have to make some changes and try and bring in some fresh personnel who will hopefully try and take the game on a little bit more,” Brendon McCullum added.
DC vs KKR, IPL 2021: McCullum defends batting order
With a string of failures, many have raised a question on whether Kolkata Knight Riders have their batting order wrong. But Brendon McCullum defended the batting order saying it looks good on paper.
“I think the order on paper looks really good, but just hasn’t delivered it in its entirety. So, you can only look at the best games of guys when you’re putting together a batting order. Unfortunately, we just haven’t been able to go on with it and be able to post a suitable score or lay a suitable foundation. For our real strength, which is in the middle, Andre Russell did well tonight coming in and being able to pick up the pace. But on a slow surface or that you’ve really got to maximize the new ball and the fielding restrictions,” Brendon McCullum said.
“I think one thing we’ve got to get out heads around is in T20 cricket, you’ve got to pack the old school mentality of trying to find a boundary and then get a one. You got to try and put some pressure back on the opposition bowler. If you get a boundary, then look for another one and then look for another one. If you’re able to do that, then the opposition bowlers will be under an immense amount of pressure. That allows you to be able to build into an innings and create partnerships in those sizeable platforms. And it’s very difficult if you’re not trying to look for those boundaries for that to happen,” McCullum explained.
DC vs KKR, IPL 2021: KKR look to make changes in coming matches
With the batsmen failing to convert their starts including Shubman Gill, who has looked out of sorts the entire tournament, Kolkata Knight Riders will look to bring in fresh players. On Thursday, Gill was finally off to a good start, scoring 43 of 38 balls but was too slow in the powerplay and looked nervous, not to mention that he threw away his wicket of a mishit. With Karun Nair warming the bench, Kolkata Knight Riders could give the former India player a chance to rejig the combinations.
“It’s incredibly disappointing because I’ve asked time and time again for us to be more aggressive and more expressive and tighten the game on and we continue to not do it. So, we’re going to have to make some changes for sure,” Brendon McCullum said.
When asked if Prithvi Shaw’s six boundaries off the first over had derailed Kolkata Knight Riders’ bowling attack, McCullum said the bowlers should have made a comeback after that.
“I don’t think it was lost in the first diver, but it was a huge psychological blow from Prithvi. I have an immense amount of respect for Prithvi because not too many people play the game with that sort of approach. You’ve got to give kudos as well to Rishabh Pant, Ricky Ponting and Delhi Capitals’ management that have been able to ask a player to play like that and for him to buy into it. He’s a real talent. He put us under an immense amount of pressure. Shivam Mavi has been good for us in a couple of games but he was not allowed to see the one,” Brendon McCullum said.
“It was a big blow for us, but we should have still been able to come back because Andre Russell had hit plenty of runs in the last couple of overs for us as well. One big over shouldn’t have been the deciding factor. I thought after that over, we took a step backwards. And that’s really frustrating from our point of view because we talk a lot about staying in the contest and about just hanging in there and trying to put some momentum back into the game. You shouldn’t be shell shocked and won over and not be able to respond to it, but we were tonight,” he added.