The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had been struck with a lot of injury blows before even the first ball of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was bowled. Three of their young promising fast bowlers in Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Anrich Nortje were forced to pull out of the entire season due to respective injury issues. Earlier the duo comprising of pacer Sandeep Warrier and leggie KC Cariappa were announced as replacements for Nagarkoti and Mavi respectively and now the franchisee has roped in Australian rookie speedster, Matt Kelly in place of Nortje.
The 24-year-old right arm fast bowler, Matt Kelly was born and brought up in Durban, South Africa before making a nationality shift to Perth, where he started playing the game for the domestic club, Western Australia. He has so far played 16 first-class games, claiming 54 wickets at an impressive average of 25.66 which also includes three five wicket hauls. He represents the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League (BBL) played in Australia. In 12 T20s played so far, Kelly has picked 19 wickets at an average of 18.00 and has decent economy of 7.43 in the shortest form of the game.
Earlier before the start of the season, the South African speedster, Anrich Nortje was forced to pull out of the entire tournament due to an injury. The Knight Riders have been on a rampant run thus far in the season, winning four out of the six games and are currently occupying the second spot on the points table.
Mark Waugh praises young Matt Kelly
During a recent interview, former Aussie batsman and national selector, Mark Waugh praised Kelly for brilliant death bowling skills and even backed him to be looked in as the third seam bowling option in the national team for the 2019 World Cup. “A lot depends around the fitness of the fast bowlers — Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Jhye Richardson’s done his shoulder — so there’s three question marks in the bowling department. I’d have Mitchell Starc in there. Josh Hazlewood, I probably wouldn’t have him in the squad. I’ve got Jhye Richardson in if he’s fit. If he’s not fit I’ve got one bolter from Western Australia, Matt Kelly, who no one’s spoken about,” Mark Waugh was quoted as saying.
“One thing we do lack slightly is a really good death bowler — a guy who can bowl yorkers at the end of the innings and he’s really good at that. He played for the Scorchers and WA. He’s a bit of a smoky but I’d have him the mix,” the former Australian cricketer added on praising Matt Kelly.