Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum has said that as one of the senior players in the team, skipper Eoin Morgan will perform better in the upcoming matches. His comments came after Kolkata’s agonisingly close loss against Punjab Kings by five wickets on Friday in Dubai.
Morgan has had a horrendous season in the IPL 2021 with the bat so far. In 12 matches, he has managed to accumulate only 109 runs with a meagre average of 10.90. In the game against Punjab Kings, KKR decided to strengthen their batting, given Morgan’s poor form which meant the team went with only four specialist bowlers which proved costly as they couldn’t defend a total of 165 against the batting line-up of Punjab, which is highly dependant on the openers, Mayank Agarwal and skipper KL Rahul. McCullum believes that Morgan will perform in the upcoming matches and he has captained the side brilliantly which has worked for KKR.
"He's one of our senior players. He's one of our international batters and in his own head he would have loved to contribute more runs," McCullum said. "I think he's captained the side really well. But look, you want some more runs from him there's no doubt in there. You need runs from your overseas players and you particularly need in those key spots as well. I am confident he will come alright. Some guys are really going well," McCullum said.
The injury of Andre Russell has also jeopardized their batting strength who also brings his bowling skills to the table. The former New Zealand skipper said that the decision to go with only four frontline bowlers backfired.
"When you take out Russell, it's always difficult to balance your side. We got home in Sharjah but we felt a batter short. We felt if we are able to play the extra batter, we can utilise the bowling of Venkatesh Iyer and Rana, who is a very cagey bowler. When you take one of your big players out, who happens to be an allrounder, you always have that delicate balance to try and balance your side. You have to either go with your batting strong or bowling strong. In hindsight, when we got 160-odd, it would have been nice to have another bowler," the former New Zealand skipper said.
With this loss, KKR can only earn a maximum of 14 points which means they might need to be dependent on other teams’ results and also look into their net run-rate. They will play next against already eliminated Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, October 3 in Dubai.