After starting the 12th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on a fantastic note, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have slipped off the barrel in the last few games. The Dinesh Karthik-led team has conceded four comprehensive losses on the trot and now with just 8 points in their baggage, they have left themselves with an uphill task of winning atleast three of the remaining four games in order to stake a chance of qualifying for the final four.
The major reason for KKR’s slump in form has certainly been the dismal performance of their premier spinner Kuldeep Yadav. In the nine matches played this season, Kuldeep has managed to pick up just four wickets at an economy rate of 8.66. Looking at his consistent struggles, KKR even dropped him from the playing eleven in their 10th game of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
He couldn’t stand up for us
KKR conceded its fourth consecutive loss of the season yesterday against SRH and after the game, Dinesh Karthik was left in the midst of big queries to answer about the disappointing performance of his team. Karthik revealed that the Indian chinaman bowler was dropped due to his below-par performance in the last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). In his quota of four overs, Kuldeep got hit for a total of 59 runs against RCB.
“A form issue with (Kuldeep) – as he couldn’t stand up for us in the last game. We had to give him a break and get him back fresh,” quoted Dinesh Karthik.
Karthik also accepted the fact that his bowlers’ performance hasn’t been upto the mark in the tournament. He reckoned that the fielding also needs some improvement. “Our bowling has been off colour in the tournament. Our fielding needs a lot of improvement too,” he added.
They batted really well
SRH fast bowling pair of Khaleel Ahmed and Bhuvneshwar Kumar delivered brilliant spells to restrict KKR within a pretty modest first innings total of 161 runs. While in the second innings, it was the SRH opening duo comprising of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow who stole the show with some incredible batting.
The openers compiled a scintillating century opening partnership to reduce the run-chase into mere formalities. Bairstow remained unbeaten till the end to steer SRH to an emphatic victory.
“I think 160 was a par score on this wicket if we’d bowled well. I think they (Warner and Bairstow) batted really well but our fielding cost us. And after that dropped catch (off Prithviraj), he (Bairstow) came at us all guns blazing. A wicket of Bairstow would have felt better, feel for the guy (Yarra Prithviraj). We have been outplayed in this game,” the KKR skipper concluded.