Kolkata Knight Riders started their Dream 11 IPL campaign last night against defending champions Mumbai Indians. Kolkata Knight Rider's hopes for a positive beginning were ruthlessly crushed by Mumbai as the blue team registered a commanding 49 run victory.
While this was Kolkata Knight Rider's first game of the campaign, and no panic buttons will be pressed just yet, the team's think tanks are a little worried at the night's one-sided contest.
A large part of a team's IPL success hinges on their ability to find their footing early and garner the points right from the start. With that being said, Kolkata Knight Riders will be looking to quickly address some glaring errors to be better prepared for their second match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 3 days.
Difficult questions for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) after their loss to Mumbai Indians (MI) in IPL 2020
#3 Sunil Narine stint as an IPL opener over?
Kolkata Knight Riders sending Sunil Narine to open was one of IPL's true masterstrokes. In recent times though, the idea has seemed to have run its course.
Let's talk numbers. In the 2018 edition of the IPL, Sunil Narine amassed 357 runs at a whopping strike rate of 189.89 at an average of 22.31. But in the very next season in IPL 2019, his run tally dropped to a meagre 143 in 12 outings with no 50+ score among them.
While his strike rate was still an impressive 166.27, his average was an unflattering 17.23. This indicated that the novelty of the West Indian pinch hitter was wearing off, and oppositions had developed counter-measures against him.
This was seen in the match against the Mumbai Indians. Shorter length deliveries, laced with raw pace, left Sunil Narine hapless. Despite one six, Sunil Narine never got going and was outdone by a quick James Pattinson delivery, sending him back to the dugout for 9 (10).
In a chase of 195, an innings like that is counter-productive. As the IPL progresses, if Sunil Narine fails to adapt to the quicks, he may be forced to move lower down the order. This may not be a bad move.
Coming in to bat later would enable the pinch-hitter to provide final flourishes in the death overs. In addition to this, he will have the ability to face spinners against whom he is comfortable hoicking the ball. Either way, Kolkata Knight Riders would be wise to have a few more opening combinations in their mind for this IPL.
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