With all the teams finishing at least four-matches into the 2020 Indian T20 League, everyone has a fair understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and combinations. KKR’s journey, so far, has been mixed with the two-time title winners landing two victories and two losses in their four outings.
However, whether it be the moments of unity or solo brilliance, some loopholes in the team have been so evident that experts and fans both believe that an immediate change is needed for the team to churn something out of this season. Here are three changes KKR should implement immediately to see better results in the remainder of their campaign.
MENDING OLD WAYS
One of the best players to have come out of the tournament, Sunil Narine is rapidly running out of time. The once mystery bowler has stopped being lethal since his change in bowling action, but Narine always managed to do just enough to stay in the reckoning. However, his last good display came in 2018 when he claimed 17 wickets, thus coming close to his glorious KKR years of 2012, 2013 and 2014 – where he had taken 20+ wickets in consecutive seasons. Last season saw Narine taking just 10 wickets as his batting bonus failed miserably.
One of the most successful experiments in the tournament’s history had also come through Narine, when the spinner was asked to open for KKR alongside Chris Lynn. After a small glimpse of his opening prowess in 2017, the southpaw had tallied an impressive 357 in 2018, garnering two half-centuries as well. However, the veteran has been coming short with both the bat and the ball of late and with KKR having a batting option in Tom Banton, Narine seems redundant. Things have looked worse after the spinner was given just two overs against DC last week.
CHANGE IN LEADERSHIP
After a promising 2018 season, where KKR’s immediate change in captaincy – which saw new arrival Dinesh Karthik taking over Gautam Gambhir’s place – took them to the playoffs, the team has been going downhill. While they failed to reach the playoffs last season following a string of bad on-field decisions and dressing room controversies, Dinesh Karthik has continually failed to get a grasp of his decisions this season as well.
Despite playing on a batting-friendly Sharjah pitch, KKR saw Dinesh Karthik handing over the ball to Varun Chakravarthy in the 19th over as Shreyas Iyer cleared him to the stands thrice to take 20 runs off the over. If that wasn’t enough, Karthik was dismissed for a paltry six off eight balls while chasing. To his dismay, popular captain choice Eoin Morgan scored 44 runs off 18 balls to take KKR close to winning. Morgan has recently led England to a World Cup last year and his leadership skills with the white ball remain unquestioned.
ONLY BUT THE BEST
Apart from a change in captaincy, Dinesh Karthik also needs to take a hard look at himself. While his experience and “that Nidahas Trophy knock” have been brought into the argument time and again to back him in the KKR setup, his recent performances paint a gloomier picture. Karthik’s last best season was in 2018 when the skipper had amassed 498 runs, coming late in the batting order.
Under Brendon McCullum’s management, Dinesh Karthik is seen coming up the batting order and failing to take the team home on most occasions. While he could score only 253 runs in 14 matches last season, he has managed 37 runs this season so far. With players like Rahul Tripathi and Siddhesh Lad waiting for a chance on the KKR bench, Karthik doesn’t have the luxury to continue this way. With matches now coming thick and fast, the skipper needs to buckle up or give his place to the vibrant youngsters in the reserve.
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