After getting Harbhajan Singh for his base price, Eoin Morgan has admitted that adding the veteran to the squad has really strengthened their already strong spin-bowling attack in a good way. Morgan also insisted that the flexible middle-order is one of the biggest strengths for the franchise.
Despite having the arsenal, Kolkata Knight Riders crumbled to finish outside the playoff spot last season, even after having one leg in the final four for the longest time. In particular, barring Varun Chakravarthy, the lack of in-form spin bowlers hurt the franchise’s chances immensely. However, ahead of the new season, the franchise roped in the experienced off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who would provide a tooth to their toothless spin attack.
KKR skipper Eoin Morgan, who has in the past has played against the off-spinner, admitted that adding the 40-year-old has really strengthened the squad, in a good way. The English skipper also added that with three games in Chennai, having a plethora of spin-bowling options would be extremely beneficial and handy.
"Adding Harbhajan to our squad has strengthened us in a really, really good way, I think," Morgan said in a virtual press conference, reported Cricbuzz.
"When you look at our spin department as a whole, on paper it's one of the best in the tournament and that's factual. You look at the options that we have and the conditions that we might play, particularly in Chennai which notoriously can turn, or at least raise the eyebrows over our spinners, which is hard to do. It's an area that I think if we play well in the tournament I think our spinners will have bowled well and contributed in that regard," he added.
On the other hand, another point of worry for the franchise from last season was the performance of their middle-order, comprising Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik and Morgan himself. While they were underwhelming last season, Morgan insisted that the plethora of options will allow them to change their middle-order according to the situation, something he feels could potentially put-off opponents.
"The one positive, amongst others, last year was the versatility within our middle order and the flexibility to either promote Sunil or you know, promote myself or DK (Dinesh Karthik). The strength within that middle order is... if we play well there's a lot of teams that will not enjoy playing against us. As it is one of the strengths of our side, we need to make the right call in when to play the best hand and that's one of the things that we learned from last year," Morgan admitted.
KKR would face Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 11, in their first clash, with them sweating over the fitness of their skipper. However, Morgan clarified that he would be fit in time for the start of the event.
"I feel a lot better than I did probably a week ago, and the plan moving forward is to remove the stitches tomorrow," he concluded.