In the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020), the presence of England’s World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan as Dinesh Karthik’s deputy augurs well for Kolkata Knight Riders, the franchise’s bowling coach Kyle Mills said on Wednesday.
Karthik had a big shoe to fill after replacing two-time IPL-winning skipper Gautam Gambhir, who led them for seven seasons.
The wicketkeeper-batsman faced criticism in 2019 after they failed to make the cut following a string of losses in the business end of the tournament.
This time, the franchise has brought back the England limited-overs skipper Morgan, who played for the KKR from 2011 to 2013, as the team’s vice-captain.
“I think Eoin is going to complement DK really well. DK can focus on keeping, Eoin will be in the cover region. So, the communication with the bowler in the death overs or pressure situations will work well,” Mills said in an interview on KKR’s website.
“Eoin Morgan has a lot of experience and also had successful campaigns for England. He doesn’t get flustered under pressure situations. So, you need leaders like that in a young group. I know leaders who panic and raise their voice.”
The former New Zealand pacer spoke about KKR’s heavy bowling artillery with world number one Pat Cummins spearheading the attack comprising Harry Gurney, Lockie Ferguson and Andre Russell alongside Indian youngsters — Prasidh Krishna, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sandeep Warrier and Shivam Mavi.
“Looking at the young local lads along with Pat, Harry, Lockie and Andre, I should say we have got some real firepower that we need to put a harness on to give the right direction,” the 41-year-old said.
“We have got a really heavy artillery. I guess Pat Cummins will be a superstar by the time he ends his career. He has been around for a while, and he is just 26-27 years of age. He is really young. We have got him in his prime.
“At this moment, without a question, he is the best fast bowler in the world. He has had a lot of injuries in the past but he is really fit now and has been bowling with great control and pace.
“And also, if you see his mannerism on the field, he is a great team player,” Mills said.
KKR’s star all-rounder Russell, too, will be “quite intimidating with the ball”, Mills said.
“Sometimes with these all-rounders with the batting going super well, they often forget the other skill that they have got, which is their X-factor.
“Andre is great with the bat but you can also pick him just for his bowling. He is very fast, has got some good variations and now he has got a lot of IPL and international experience.
“I am sure Andre is going to take his batting and bowling to the top level as an all-rounder.”
Mills also spoke very highly of Ferguson who worked with him in his formative years.
“If you see the World Cup last year in England where New Zealand lost the final, Lockie was one of the best fast bowlers in the tournament. He bowled with great pace and swung the ball really well.
“He had a little niggle during the home season in New Zealand but I am sure he will be fit and raring to go in the IPL.
“He hasn’t played cricket in the last five months so he is really excited to go out there and play with the white ball,” he concluded.