After having replaced Dinesh Karthik as KKR’s skipper, Eoin Morgan has proclaimed that KKR needs to be as adaptable as they could with their batting unit. While crediting Mumbai Indians, he also stated that they need to turn things around, both with their batting and bowling to stay alive.
Kolkata Knight Riders have endured a rather precarious start to the season, with four wins and four losses in eight encounters. While they are placed fourth on the IPL table, their performance this season has been under-par, reflected in their losses against Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. In particular, their batting order hasn’t yet quite clicked as they would want them to, with a newly found opening partnership at the top of the order, Shubman Gill and Rahul Tripathi.
In the middle-order, Karthik hasn’t yet quite lit up the tournament, similar to Nitish Rana, who is struggling for form alongside Andre Russell. While Eoin Morgan has shown his batting prowess, they have needed support from Pat Cummins with the bat. Following another batting shambles, KKR skipper Morgan proclaimed that the batting order needs to be more adaptable to the conditions.
“We have to be as adaptable with our batting unit, we need to have more match-ups and start winning them. Hence the continued change in the batting order. Yes, we have looked at Pat as an all-rounder. He’s focused on golf thus far, which has made his batting look effortless. It has made a huge difference to his batting,” said Morgan at the post-match press conference.
The Englishman pointed out that early on their innings, there was a lot of mistakes from the batsmen, which threateningly started taking the game away from them. Alongside Mumbai’s tight-bowling, KKR were reduced to a total of 148, needing a cameo from Pat Cummins, who scored a 36-ball 53 to keep them afloat.
“In the batting department, we made a lot of mistakes, Mumbai bowled to the strength and made it difficult for us. They proved exactly why they are the in-form side this season. From hereon, we have to start turning things around, with our batting and bowling,” he added.
On the leadership front, Morgan took over the captaincy duties from Karthik, who led the side during the first half of the season. The southpaw credited the Indian wicket-keeper for being selfless and having a lot of ‘courage’ to step down from the captaincy role.
“In a team full of leaders, in me and Dinesh, there will be a smooth transition between us. It took a lot of courage in DK and selflessness to give the captaincy to me. It is a good opportunity for me to lead the side, in the group of players, we would need a lot of leaders to come up good.”
With Kuldeep Yadav, the case has been rather peculiar, the left-arm unorthodox bowler hasn’t quite lived up to his expectations in the past, with just one wicket this season, from the three games. That has led to him being dropped from the playing XI but Morgan admitted that he is still in the race for a place in the playing XI, with the conditions slowly favouring the spinners more.
“The evidence showed that the ball didn’t turn much today later on, which is one of the reasons why Kuldeep Yadav wasn’t in the lineup. Potentially, he is in the reckoning for a place in the day-game but today it wasn’t.“