IPL 2021: Misfiring top order KKR’s big headache
The heat is on Kolkata Knight Riders. Four defeats in a row have pushed them to a corner from where if they do not push back, it might be too late for a turnaround.
But they have only a day to pick themselves up after Saturday’s comprehensive loss to Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai, because waiting for them on Monday are Punjab Kings. The match will be played at the slick Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Can the change of venue bring about a change in fortune for the struggling Knights? Besides some of Eoin Morgan’s dubious decisions and a few unimpressive outings from the bowlers, what has been ailing the Knights the most is their batting, which just hasn’t delivered in their last four games.
Especially in their last three matches, the top order has failed to click, with head coach Brendon McCullum clearly expressing his displeasure over the matter.
It was baffling to see openers Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill not showing the intent required to score as many as possible in the Powerplay overs against Rajasthan.
The Knights also need to be a bit more logical when finalising their XI as well as their batting order.
If Andre Russell plays, he should be given enough balls to face instead of being pushed down the order. Bowling-wise, bringing in New Zealander Lockie Ferguson may not be a bad idea, considering the extra pace he’s capable of generating.
Punjab are coming off a nine-wicket win over Mumbai Indians and are surely in a better mind-space than the Knights.