After a morale-hurting loss against Delhi, Brendon McCullum tore the team down, admitting that there needs to be changes in the playing XI to suit their aggressive brand of cricket. He also added that Prithvi Shaw’s innings was a ‘perfect’ template of the style of cricket that KKR wants to play.
Despite a win over Punjab Kings at the venue, Kolkata Knight Riders were terribly undone in the first six overs by the Delhi Capitals. In fact, the difference between the two powerplay scores went on to dictate the outcome of the proceedings in Ahmedabad. After the six overs, Delhi Capitals were on 67/0, chasing 156, on a venue where 170 was the par total.
In the post-match press conference, Brendon McCullum didn’t spare one bit, admitting that his side desperately needs changes to suit their style of play. He also pointed out that how the players have been given complete freedom and confidence have failed to take the game on aggressively. Moreso, KKR are on par with the Punjab Kings for playing the most dot deliveries in the powerplay.
"It's very, very disappointing. I think as a player, you ask to be given freedom and confidence and loyalty when it comes to selection, to go out there and take the game on and try and be aggressive... and to try and make things happen for your team. That's the style of play which both myself and the captain [Eoin Morgan] have asked of our players. But unfortunately we're not quite getting that. We're certainly not getting it in the abundance that we need,” McCullum rued in the post-match press conference.
“It's become a bit of a theme. A saying that I've used throughout my career is that 'If you can't change a man, change the man.' So we'll probably have to make some changes and try and bring in some fresh personnel who will hopefully take the game on a bit more," he added.
However, McCullum was all praise for Delhi’s opener, Prithvi Shaw, who scored a worldly 41-ball 82, with 11 boundaries and three sixes. In fact, the former Kiwi skipper also insisted that Shaw’s innings was the ‘perfect’ template of how he wants his side to play cricket, with positive intent.
"What we saw from Prithvi Shaw tonight was the perfect template of how we want to play. You're not always going to be able to p hit every ball for four or six, but you can have the intent to do so, particularly when you're given a free licence. It's very difficult if you don't play shots to score runs, and unfortunately tonight we didn't play enough shots.”
While still hanging on for his side needing to be more aggressive, McCullum pressed that it an application error from the playing XI, time and again. He conceded that changes are inevitable, considering their form with the bat.
"It's very difficult if you're not trying to look for boundaries for that to happen. So it's more of an application thing than it is anything else. It's incactually allowed him to settle a little bit, but he really couldn't play with the same freedom, because we had fallen into a bit of a hole. It was only his brutal power towards theredibly disappointing because I've asked time and time again for us to be more aggressive and more expressive and take the game on, and we continue to not do it. So we're going to have to make some changes for sure."
Andre Russell, who walked in at No.7 scored a 27-ball 45 but most of his runs came late in the day after the situation had already got out of control. McCullum pointed out how the franchise has earmarked the 12th over, as where they could get the best out of the Jamaican all-rounder.
"Ideally with the right platform, beyond 12th over (Russell’s batting position) is what we agreed on, but there are times when he's going to have to come in a little bit earlier. Today he came in slightly earlier. It end which allowed us to post any sort of total.”