Top Order Changes Expected at KKR After Loss to DC: McCullum
KKR finished with 154/6, a below-par total that DC chased down easily as Prithvi Shaw scored 82 off 41 balls.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ head coach Brendon McCullum lashed out at their top order following the rout at the hands of Delhi Capitals. KKR is languishing at fifth in the points table, having suffered three consecutive defeats and five losses in a week.
KKR were 73/2 at the halfway mark before Lalit Yadav sent back skipper Eoin Morgan and Sunil Narine for ducks in the 11th over. The next four overs produced 20 runs at the cost of opener Shubman Gill, who dawdled to 43 in 38 balls. KKR eventually finished with 154/6, a below-par total that DC gunned down without breaking a sweat as Prithvi Shaw smashed 82 off 41 deliveries.
Much was expected off Shubman Gill however his recent form is a cause of concern, while Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Morgan and Narine haven’t lived up to their expectations either, pushing McCullum to look for options.
"It's very, very disappointing," McCullum didn’t mince his words in the post-match press conference on Thursday.
"It's very difficult if you don't play shots to score runs, and unfortunately tonight we didn't play enough shots. It's become a bit of a theme," McCullum's statement was crystal clear as he was talking about Gill and fellow opener Nitish Rana.
"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 (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," the former New Zealand captain added.
Rana also has scored only 201 runs at a sub-par strike-rate of 122.56 and McCullum indicated that a change is on the cards.
"A saying that I've used throughout my career is that 'If you can't change a man, change the man.' So we'll probably have to make some changes and try and bring in some fresh personnel who will hopefully take the game on a bit more."
McCullum was all praises for the young prodigy, Shaw, who made a mockery of the chase. "What we saw from Prithvi Shaw tonight was the perfect template of how we want to play. You're not always going to be able to hit every ball for four or six, but you can have the intent to do so, particularly when you're given a free licence," opined McCullum.
KKR will have a tough ask up their sleeve as they lock horns against a rampaging RCB on Monday, 3 May, when they’ll look to keep top 4 hopes alive.
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