KKR coach Brendon McCullum has hinted at a possible change in the opening combination after the team has lost five of their first seven games. Their latest defeat was against Delhi Capitals when Prithvi Shaw decimated the KKR bowlers chasing 145. Due to the lack of good start by the KKR openers, they put up just 155 runs on a good batting wicket.
The likes of Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana have struggled to give KKR the starts required to win games in the 14th edition of the T20 league. Even against Delhi Capitals (DC), the opening partnership was broken in the 4th over of the innings. What disappointed McCullum more, however, was the fact that the top-order players continue to consume too many balls, putting too much pressure on the rest of the batters.
It’s Very Disappointing: Brendon McCullum
“It’s very, very disappointing. I think as a player, you ask to be given freedom and confidence and loyalty when it comes to selection, to go out there and take the game on and try and be aggressive… and to try and make things happen for your team. That’s the style of play which both myself and the captain [Eoin Morgan] have asked of our players. But unfortunately, we’re not quite getting that. We’re certainly not getting it in the abundance that we need” McCullum said in the press conference after the match.
Brendon McCullum further emphasised on making use of the first six overs of the batting powerplay. In none of the games, have the KKR openers been able o take full advantage of the batting powerplay and have lost way too many wickets.
“One thing we have to get our heads around is that in T20 cricket, you’ve got to part from the old-school mentality of trying to find a boundary and then get a one. You’ve got to try and put some pressure back on the opposition bowlers. If you get a boundary, then look for another, and then look for another one. If you’re able to do that, then the opposition bowler is under an immense amount of pressure and normally what happens then is they don’t execute” the KKR coach said.
While Delhi Capitals look good for a top-two finish, KKR must make a quick turnaround in the final seven games to give themselves the best chance of making it to the playoffs. They have seven games remaining with the team already in a must-win situation.
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