The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were found wanting on multiple fronts as they were hammered by 75 runs in their recent IPL 2022 match against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and that too by 75 runs. Analyzing the loss, KKR head coach Brendon McCullum singled out their troubles in the power play as the IPL 2022 league stage nears a close.
KKR now have 7 losses in 11 matches in the tournament and have 8 points only and is on the brink of elimination.
“We struggled in the power play which has been a frustration for us throughout the season. We’ve been good throughout the middle phase and not too bad at the death. But in the power play we’ve been a little stuck and we’ve to find a method to not lose many wickets and also throw a few punches and get a few boundaries,” McCullum said at the post-match press conference.
In this season of IPL 2022, KKR has tried a number of different opening combinations but has yet to discover one that works. Their openers have not been able to provide the kind of start that winning teams require.
McCullum further said: “If you look around other teams at the top of the table, one of their opening batters is also one of their highest run-scorers. It’s an area we haven’t been able to settle. Unfortunately, some of the guys haven’t been in the form that they would have liked to.
That happens, sometimes. In a quick tournament, you do have to sometimes change personnel. It’s been a little frustrating. But the guys have been working really hard, it hasn’t necessarily worked out for us but can’t fault their effort.”
Taking about the chopping and changing of the playing XI throughout the season, the New Zealander said: “Few changes were forced upon us with overseas players joining in late in the tournament plus a couple of injuries and loss of form. It’s not always easy but we need to find a method to deal with the attacks that come to us.”
KKR retained Venkatesh Iyer ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction but the all-rounder, who enjoyed a breakout IPL 2021 season, struggled to put up good performances with the bat and ball and was eventually dropped from the side.
“He did not get as many runs as he would have liked to. We were forced into a situation where we had to look for other options. That’s disappointing for someone who has represented India in the last 7-8 months on the back of what was a very good IPL last time in the UAE.
“That’s a little bit of frustrating for him as well. He is working hard at the nets, trying to get his form back. That will certainly be a consideration. He is certainly not out of contention for the games to come.” McCullum said.
“It’s Venky’s second year. Teams do a little bit more homework, it’s been historically the case in this tournament even in international cricket. “It’s an opportunity for Venkatesh to work on his game and improve, to come back stronger.
“He is a real talent, has got a good head on his shoulders. I know he is determined to take that next step and start to perform more regularly,” McCullum added.
(With PTI inputs)