Kolkata Knight Riders coach Brendon McCullum in a pre-season presser spoke about how the side has shaped up for IPL 2020 and how is he looking to bring the title back home and give joy and happiness to the people of Bengal and Kolkata.
It was in the UAE in 2014 when KKR won their second title but since then has failed to reach the finals. The KKR coach spoke extensively on the preparation of the team ahead of the season opener against Mumbai Indians.
McCullum started by saying that the squad is confident of winning the title, however, there are a couple of factors that need to go KKR’s way. He said that to win the title they need to play as a team and capitalize on the right moments. He further said that it is important for the team to stay in the moment and play one game at a time and pay respect to every match it deserves.
“I guess the thing we are going to pride ourselves in this edition is being a really smart team and utilising our resources against various match-ups,” said McCullum to kkr.in.
Speaking about his successful coaching stint with Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR), Brendon McCullum said that the players were hungry to regain the title and it was a really cool season with the boys.
Pointing out the difference between TKR and KKR, Brendon McCullum said that TKR as a whole had a lot more experience of playing T20 cricket compared to the current KKR squad. He also said that the presence of Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine made it look a strong unit, while it is a whole different ball-game for KKR.
Coaching KKR Different Than TKR: Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum said that his role as a coach with the TKR was about facilitating the players and making them understand their roles. Highlighting what he will impart from his stint with TKR into the IPL franchise, the former Kiwi skipper said that his coaching technique will differ slightly then what it was with the TKR.
He further spoke on how he will be utilising power-hitter Andre Russell in the batting order. “Russell’s game is really suited to the last ten overs of a T20 game where he can really control it but there may be times, when the match-ups are right, we can enter him a little bit earlier. We’ve got a lot of resources to choose from.” said McCullum on Russell.
He also spoke on Eoin Morgan’s inclusion to the side saying that he will provide the perfect balance in the batting order with Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell.
“If we look at his career, the last four years, what we’ve seen is a player who has taken his belief in his game and has led a nation to completely change how they play their cricket. Now when you see him bat, he’s completely free, he’s content with his game” said McCullum on Morgan.
McCullum finally concluded by saying that he is looking to work with Dinesh Karthik and having played with him before has immense respect for him. He also said that Karthik is also hungry to win a title for KKR and the people of Kolkata.
KKR start their IPL 2020 campaign against defending champions Mumbai Indians on September 23 in Abu Dhabi.