IPL 2021: Prime-order overhaul for Kolkata Knight Riders?


NEW DELHI, April 30

Kolkata Knight Riders coach Brendon McCullum criticised the top-order’s slow batting in Thursday’s defeat against Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League and said changes were likely in the team to revive their campaign. The top three of Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill and Rahul Tripathi combined to score 77 runs off 67 balls, failing to take advantage of a new ball and field restrictions as Kolkata posted a below-par 154/6. Delhi opener Prithvi Shaw smashed 82 off 41 balls to set the tone for his team’s seven-wicket victory with 21 balls remaining.

“It’s very, very disappointing,” McCullum said after two-time champions Kolkata slumped to their fifth defeat in seven matches. “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,” he added.

Famed for his aggressive batting during his playing days, the former New Zealand captain said he and Kolkata skipper Eoin Morgan had asked the batsmen to try and score briskly.

“That’s the style of play which both myself and the captain have asked of our players. But unfortunately we’re not quite getting that. It’s very difficult if you don’t play shots to score runs, and unfortunately we didn’t play enough shots. It’s become a bit of a theme,” McCullum said.

“What we saw from Prithvi Shaw 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,” he added.

Kolkata face Royal Challengers Bangalore in their next match on Monday and McCullum said there would be personnel change.

“A saying that I’ve used throughout my career is that ‘If you can’t change a man, change the man’,” said the coach. “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.” — Agencies



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