Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Shreyas Iyer on Monday (May 9) admitted it is not easy telling players that they would not play after the franchise made as many as five changes to their playing XI for the clash against Mumbai Indians (MI).
The tweak in the team combination paid off well for KKR as they thrashed MI by 52 runs to keep their campaign alive.
“It is really difficult (to tell players they won’t play). Coach and at times, CEO is also obviously involved in team selections,” Shreyas said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“Each and every player takes it well, and they have put in their best efforts. The win was comprehensive, and when I spoke to the players, they were pumped up to win the game today,” he added.
Asked to bat first, KKR posted 165/9 in their 20 overs with vital contributions from Venkatesh Iyer (43 off 24 balls) and Nitish Rana (43 off 26 balls).
In reply, MI’s innings folded for a paltry 113 in 17.3 overs. Pat Cummins was the stand-out bowler for KKR, claiming three wickets by conceding 22 runs in his four overs. Andre Russell also returned with impressive figures of 2 for 22 in his 2.3 overs while Tim Southee (1-10) and Varun Chakaravarthy (1-22) chipped in with wicket apiece.
With this victory, the Knight Riders moved up to the seventh spot on the points table with 10 points from 12 games.
“Very pleased because after losing the last game by a big margin, feels good to come back and win by a big margin is nice. We had a nice start in the powerplay and Venky targeted bowlers well. I personally felt that it wasn’t easy to start for a new batter. When we went into bowl, the plan was to hit the right areas and not give room,” the captain said.
(With India Today inputs)