Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag, in a no holds barred assault, termed KKR's defeat against Mumbai 'shameful' and reckoned that one of the openers should have batted till the end. He also added that Kolkata didn't show the intent that their skipper Eoin Morgan had promised earlier.
Kolkata Knight Riders have been become the toast of the town, albeit in a bad way, ever since they succumbed to an unbelievable loss against Mumbai Indians. KKR were ahead in the game for the first 35 overs as after folding out the Mumbai-based franchise for 152 runs, they had got off to a dream start with the bat.
KKR openers Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana, continued their good run, as they added 72 runs for the first wicket. However, after they got out, not even one KKR batsman could even secure a double-digit score. The Eoin Morgan led side failed to chase 31 off the final five overs that too with six wickets in hand.
Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag asserted that it should have been one of the openers from Kolkata that should have helped the team cross the finishing line in the paltry chase of 153.
"Either Rana or Gill should have batted till the end. They had seen what had happened in the MI innings, despite getting off to a good start they could only manage 152," Sehwag said on Cricbuzz, reported HT.
“Kolkata Knight Riders just lost the game which was almost won at one stage. When Russell came into bat, KKR needed 30 runs in 27-odd balls. Dinesh Karthik batted till the end but couldn’t win the game. That’s a shameful defeat,” he said.
Sehwag further added that KKR exhibited 'how to lose' from a near guaranteed winning position as they pulled off something that's rarely seen in cricket, as teams don't fail to chase down totals when the runs per ball difference is at bare minimum like on Tuesday in Chennai.
“The runs per ball difference wasn’t much except for the last couple of overs. We saw how to lose a game that is almost won. You hardly get any game where you are chasing 152 and you need to score 36-odd runs in 6 overs with 6-7 wickets in hand. In such scenarios, teams prefer to end the game quickly to improve their net run rate. But KKR failed to do that and hampered their net-run rate,” he added.
The former Indian opener was known for his aggressive style of batting during his heydays. He also pointed out that despite Eoin Morgan's statement to play with a positive intent, such an approach was largely missing from the finishers, Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik. Notably, the duo batted at a SR of 60 and 72.73 respectively.
“Eoin Morgan had given a statement that they will play that way (with postive intent) after the first game but it didn't look like that when Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik came in to bat. The way Russell and Karthik batted, it felt like they planned to take the game till the end and win it. But that didn’t happen.
"The batters who came before them – be it Shakib Al Hasan, Eoin Morgan, Shubman Gill or Nitish Rana – all of them played with positive intent.”