Kolkata Knight Riders hosted the Rajasthan Royals in the 49th match of IPL 2018 at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday (May 15), where the former registered a comprehensive six-wicket victory.
KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik won the toss and elected to bowl first. Rajasthan got off to a flier with Jos Buttler and Rahul Tripathi adding 63 runs for the opening wicket in just 4.5 overs. Afterwards, Kuldeep Yadav pulled things back for Kolkata by removing the RR skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Buttler in quick succession.
Royals couldn’t recover from the dismissal of Rahane and Buttler as Kuldeep claimed two more wickets to reduce them to 96/5. The 23-year-old wrist spinner eventually finished with the figures of 4-0-20-4 while Rajasthan managed to amass only 142-all out in 19 overs.
“I hadn’t done much wrong in the last game too but the batsman (Kishan) had batted well. But when that happens, it tends to alter your mindset. I had become defensive; I was thinking ‘let me try and choke the run flow’. But then, I am not that kind of bowler. It is only when I attack that I get wickets most of the time. That is my strength,” Kuldeep quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
“His (Rahane) wicket was very important for me. It was my first over and they were some 70 plus for one in six overs and going good. So Ajju bhai’s wicket was very important and later on, that of Jos Buttler,” he added.
Kuldeep was taken to the cleaners by Ishan Kishan last week but he always believed in himself to turn things around. In the ongoing Indian Premier League, the Uttar Pradesh leggie has scalped 13 wickets in as many games thus far.
“Today, I felt that my rhythm was good. And when wickets start falling, the batsmen came under pressure and that, in turn, boosted my confidence,” Yadav asserted.
“Sometimes it is hard to come back when you go for so many in a game. You tend to think too much and ignore your strengths. I spoke to my coach, who told me stick to basics and don’t try too much. That is what I did,” he concluded.
With this thumping victory over Rajasthan, KKR have now moved up to the third spot on the points table with 7 wins from 13 matches. The Dinesh Karthik led side will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in their only remaining league match on Saturday (May 19).