KKR’s New Opening Pair & ‘The Better KP’: David Hussey on IPL 2020

David Hussey talks about the different players in the KKR outfit this season.

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IPL
3 min read

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) chief mentor David Hussey on Sunday hoped England's World Cup winning captain Eoin Morgan will be a great ally to the franchise's skipper Dinesh Karthik and his calm demeanour can help the team win matches in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL).

KKR will take on defending champions Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on September 23 as per IPL fixture which was released on Sunday.

The 13th edition of the cash-rich league is taking place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as it had to be moved from India due to COVID-19 pandemic.

“He is a World Cup winning captain. He has captained England for a long time. Classy player. He will be a great ally for Dinesh Karthik,” former Australia and KKR batsman Hussey said during virtual media interaction from Abu Dhabi.

"Maybe fielding in the ring and talking to the bowlers while our captain's behind the stumps, keeping wickets. He is also a very cool calm and collected person so... he will be very handy in the middle order controlling things with our captain as well.

"So I do expect them to have a really good relationship on and off the field. He is going to go a long way in having a cool head and winning many games for KKR during a very tight tournament," said Hussey who has played over 300 T20 matches across franchise and international cricket and was part of the KKR team from 2008 to 2010 as a player.

KKR’s New Opening Pair & ‘The Better KP’: David Hussey on IPL 2020
(Photo: ECB)

Morgan has been in the form of his life since leading England to the ODI World Cup win last year on home turf.

The dashing southpaw was snapped up by KKR for Rs 5.25 crore at the IPL auction here last year.

Hussey also praised England opener Tom Banton who was also roped in by KKR, saying he is probably a better version of Kevin Pietersen.

"What a player. He takes the game on. He is probably the new or better version of Kevin Pietersen I believe. He is going to be a great pickup by KKR."

Asked if big-hitting Andre Russell could be seen batting up the order, something which the West Indian desired last season, Hussey said: "Why not? If it benefits the team and helps us win games, why not. He comes in at No 3 and bats 60 balls he might actually make a double hundred! So anything can happen with him. He is probably the heartbeat of the team. We have some well balanced players and anyone can bat anywhere."

Dinesh Karthik with KKR’s star player Andre Russell. While the players had their differences in the 2019 season, both were retained by the franchise.
Dinesh Karthik with KKR’s star player Andre Russell. While the players had their differences in the 2019 season, both were retained by the franchise.
(Photo: BCCI)

With Robin Uthappa now with Rajasthan Royals, KKR will be looking for a new opening pair and the Head Mentor said the team will be trying a few combinations.

‘The opening combination is up for discussion. There are so many good players who can fit in those roles. Fortunately, the Head Coach gets to make that decision with Abhishek Nayar and Dinesh Karthik. But ya, there will definitely be a few opening combinations and hopefully whatever works for us will go a long way towards winning the game,’ he said.

Throwing light on his role as the mentor of the side coached by former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, Hussey said he would help players get 'role clarity'.

"It is about getting around the group and making them feel relaxed. My job is to support the captain and coaches.

"The players are in phenomenal touch. I am amazed that these boys can come out of not hitting a cricket ball and just hit the ground running.

"My style is more individual. See how people are going and form a role clarity for each player. Also make them feel at ease and at home."

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