Under the new captain Dinesh Karthik, the Kolkata Knight Riders side started their IPL 2018 campaign with a thumping four-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, they lost the plot in their next two affairs against Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively.
While KKR’s five-wicket defeat at the hands of CSK was a closely contested one, their loss against SRH on Saturday night has raised a lot of questions especially with regards to the uncertain batting line-up. They seem to be trying too many things with their batting order and pace bowlers look unsettled as well.
KKR selected India under-19 stars Shubman Gill and Shivam Mavi in the playing XI against SRH to sort out their batting and pace bowling. However, Gill, who prefers to come at No. 3 had to bat at No. 7 while Mavi bowled only one over.
“As a team we understand that he is a top-order batsman but you also need to understand the dynamics of this team. With Robin (Uthappa), Nitish (Rana) and myself there, we thought he could go in the middle-order where he wouldn’t have to build an innings. Instead he could be free to express himself. It is going to be a little hard at this stage sending him higher up the order,” Karthik quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
Shubman struggled to get going at the fag end of KKR innings, scoring 3 runs off 9 balls. On the other hand, Mavi, who was roped in by KKR for INR 3 crores during the auction in January, conceded 10 runs in his one over.
“I was looking at Mavi but at that stage (power play) the spinners looked like better wicket taking options,” said Karthik about why Mavi bowled only one over.
In contrast to Sunrisers Hyderabad’s pacers, who went for 84 runs in 12 overs, KKR fast bowlers conceded 79 in 7 overs. It is certainly an area of concern for the KKR think tank and they will have to fix it ahead of their next against Delhi Daredevils on Monday.
“They (Sunrisers) have a good knuckle ball going and they use it to good effect. It is something we can look at as a team," Karthik concluded.