IPL 2021: KKR mentor David Hussey backs batsmen
Kolkata Knight Riders mentor David Hussey has backed the team’s batsmen to come good in the IPL 2021 final versus Chennai Super Kings in Dubai on Friday.
Batting, especially the middle order, continues to be a concern for KKR, but Hussey isn’t too worried. “No, I’m not concerned because they’re all classy players. They know how to play.
“It is just the difficult nature of these pitches they have been playing on, where getting a strike rate of 200 is not easy,” Hussey said after the Knight Riders’ thrilling win over Delhi Capitals in Qualifier II at Sharjah on Wednesday.
“The batsmen had to knuckle down and that’s why maybe their strike rate was around 110-120. So we are not concerned. We are going into the final with a lot of confidence and you just never know what’s going to happen.”
Opener Venkatesh Iyer’s brilliant half-century and his partner Shubman Gill’s 46-run knock laid the foundation for KKR in Qualifier II, ensuring the dramatic collapse didn’t go on to cost them the game.
Lavishing praise on the openers, Hussey said: “We have found a player in Venkatesh. Not only is he a classy player, but he is a wonderful person and team man as well.
“He struck the ball superbly from ball one. I think some of those big sixes that he hit actually changed the tempo of the game and got us into a winning position (versus Delhi).”
Former Australia and Chennai Super Kings opener Shane Watson feels pacer Josh Hazlewood is a tough bowler to face because of his “control over the ball”.
The 30-year-old Australia quick was the pick of the Super Kings bowlers in their four-wicket win over the Capitals in Qualifier I on Sunday. “Josh’s control over the ball is pretty good.
“When there’s a bit of dew in the wicket or with the brand new ball, he’s incredibly good at just being able to get something out of the pitch,” Watson, also a former all-rounder, said on a Star Sports show.
Watson added that Hazlewood has similarities with the legendary Glenn McGrath in the way he controls the ball. “The control Josh has of the ball is along the lines of what McGrath did. The control Glenn had on how much the ball swung or which way it would seam, Josh had that from a young age. So that for me was one of the comparisons.”