We Believed We Were in the Game Till the Final Over, Says Morgan

Morgan said that it’d be difficult to come up the order in KKR’s batting lineup especially when Russell bats at 4.

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IPL
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Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) batsman Eoin Morgan felt that they expected scores around 200 when they came to Sharjah and they weren't far off from the target, after his side’s loss to Delhi Capitals on Saturday, 3 October.

When asked about what went wrong for their bowlers, Morgan said, “I don’t think a lot went wrong. I think that when you come to Sharjah you’re always going to expect a score of 200-plus in a game and potentially they got, you know, a couple of boundaries too many but we were still in the game until the 20th over, so maybe it was a 220 wicket.”

Delhi Capitals scored 228 runs in their 20 overs, with KKR’s every bowler going above 11 runs per over at least (except Andre Russell, who gave just 29 runs in his 4 overs).

Chasing that score, KKR were 137-6 after 15 overs, after which Morgan and Rahul Tripathi took the attack to the Delhi bowlers and left people wondering why the two came in so late in the batting order.

Asked about the same since he was the one who gave a really good chance to his team, Morgan denied it saying that they have a number of match-winners in their batting line-up and it’s difficult to get up the order.

“When you have a world-class batsman, all-rounder in Andre Russell, he’s an incredible striker of the ball. When he comes up the order obviously everybody shifts down a little bit. So given the context of the game, I think we went from a position of behind the 8-ball a little bit because Delhi bowled well, to a position of strength and looking like we were going to win it.”

On his team’s progress, England’s white-ball captain said that being involved in such a close game against a side like Delhi (who have looked the most promising so far), rings good for KKR.

“We’ve had outstanding days with the ball so far in the tournament and our batting came to the forefront of it today. Nitish Rana played really well, I thought Rahul Tripathi coming in for his first game in the tournament with limited opportunities; to take time, struck the ball beautifully, so there are huge positives.”

Asked about if Rahul Tripathi would open the innings since Narine hasn’t been able to produce a good score, Morgan argued it saying if you have a batsman scoring at a strike rate of 250-300, it’s almost Andre Russell-like, so why would you want to change that.

Rahul Tripathi who has opened for Rising Pune Supergiant and Rajasthan Royals in the past, playing his first game for KKR came into bat at No 8 after Pat Cummins in the 14th over when they needed 107 off 39 balls to win.

Going forward, on what would be the bowling strategy of the team, Morgan said that one shouldn’t delve into too much of Sharjah being a small ground thought, and keep the plans simple as they have done in the previous couple of games.

Kolkata Knight Riders will next face the Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday, 7 October.

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