Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Eoin Morgan conceded that he simply hasn’t been able to gauge the nature of the unpredictable Chennai wicket, and claimed that Chepauk has got him ‘stumped’. Morgan admitted that his side were well and truly outplayed by the Royal Challengers on a good batting wicket.
On a scorching hot Sunday afternoon in Chennai, Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore got the better off Kolkata Knight Riders as the Reds registered their third consecutive win to retain top position. With each of the last three games at the venue having seen scores in the 150 vicinity, Sunday’s encounter was expected to be another low scoring affair but the Chepauk wicket sprung a surprise as it ended up producing a run-fest. A total of 370 runs were scored in the game and the match saw a team breach the 200-run mark in Chennai for the first time this season.
The volatile nature of the Chennai wicket left many surprised, and KKR skipper Eoin Morgan was no different. Speaking in the post match presentation, Morgan conceded that he was left ‘stumped’ by the unpredictable Chepauk wicket.
“We gave it absolutely everything in the field today. Tried our best in the chase but not to be. It (Chepauk pitch) certainly stumped me. I'm glad to be leaving Chennai. Turned out to be a great cricket wicket.” Morgan said in the post-match presentation.
“Everyone who batted on this wicket felt it played better but RCB played better.”
Despite eventually losing the game rather convincingly, KKR had RCB by the scruff of the neck early in the contest. Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy struck twice in the second over and RCB, at one point, were teetering at 9/2. But with two new batsmen in the middle, skipper Morgan decided against giving Chakravarthy a second over in the powerplay, and the decision eventually proved to be costly. When asked about the thought process behind doing so, Morgan revealed that KKR held back Chakravarthy’s overs to tackle the threat of AB de Villiers.
“Probably not (on Varun not bowling again in Powerplay). Maxwell is a destructive player but he isn't there only star player. You do need an over or two up your sleeve for someone like De Villiers. They are full of strength and depth. Every side in the competition is. So you can't plan for just one player,” Morgan said of the decision to hold back Chakravarthy.
Having played each of their first three games in Chennai, KKR will now shift base to Mumbai, where they will be playing their next two matches. Wickets at the Wankhede have thus far been much better for batting than Chepauk, and Morgan revealed that he’s been keeping track of the happenings in Mumbai.
“Completely difference in conditions there (in Mumbai) for different nights. We've been watching the games.”
KKR will kick-start their Mumbai leg against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday, April 24.