Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has stated that the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batting line-up's inability to get going is a concern for the franchise in IPL 2020.
He made this observation while reviewing the Eoin Morgan-led side's Super Over win against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra started by pointing out that the KKR batting has not been able to gather any momentum right from the top of the order, with Shubman Gill giving them steady but not blazing starts.
"David Warner won the toss and opted to field. KKR have a problem that they just cannot get going in their batting. They are trying but it is not happening. Gill plays but plays slowly and then he gets out. Tripathi didn't score much."
The reputed commentator added that while Nitish Rana and Dinesh Karthik played useful knocks, Andre Russell's lack of contribution has been a huge concern for KKR.
"Nitish Rana played a nice small cameo but he also got out after that. Russell is not scoring, that is a problem. Dinesh Karthik did a good job in his new role as a finisher."
He observed that KKR had reached a decent score with the flourish provided by Karthik and Eoin Morgan at the end of their innings.
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"KKR reached a score that was not that bad a total although not a great one because they finished strongly."
While talking about the SRH run chase, Aakash Chopra highlighted that they had gone in with a changed batting order. Kane Williamson was sent to open because of his injury and David Warner subsequently had to bat in the middle order.
"SRH completely overhauled their batting order. Warner was sent down the order and they opened with Kane Williamson. Williamson and Bairstow were playing well."
The former KKR player pointed out that Lockie Ferguson altered the course of the match in the Kolkata-based franchise's favour as he rocked the SRH batting line-up with the wickets of Manish Pandey, Williamson and Priyam Garg.
"Ferguson, who was played by KKR, took three wickets and changed the course of the match. He got Manish Pandey with a yorker, Williamson with a bouncer and Priyam Garg with a slower one."
Aakash Chopra observed that the match went to a Super Over as an unfit Andre Russell could not keep David Warner in check in the last over. However, the former did manage to restrict SRH to just a single run when two runs were required for a victory off the last ball.
"KKR was in a winning position with Warner batting down the order. Andre Russell was injured and was in a bad state. He bowled a no-ball first up which was also a wide and gave a free hit. But in the end, SRH needed 2 runs off the last ball and they got only one for the match to go to a Super Over."
Aakash Chopra on the Super Over in the match between KKR and SRH
Aakash Chopra highlighted that Lockie Ferguson bowled an outstanding Super Over for KKR, getting the wickets of David Warner and Abdul Samad while conceding just the two runs.
"Lockie Ferguson dismissed David Warner of the first ball of the Super Over. Abdul Samad took two runs of the next ball, it came to my mind if he should have taken the 2nd run. Ferguson gets him out with the next ball and SRH score just 2 runs."
The 43-year-old observed that KKR had made heavy weather of the three-run target before Dinesh Karthik got the winning runs with the help of leg-byes.
"It seemed at one point that KKR may not be able to score the 3 runs but Karthik eventually won them the match but not without skipping a few heartbeats."
Aakash Chopra signed off by naming Lockie Ferguson as the game-changer for KKR, with his sensational bowling both in the main match and the Super Over.
"Lockie Ferguson was the game-changer for KKR in this match. He took 5 wickets in the entire match, three in the normal game and two in the Super Over. He was absolutely sensational."
With this win, KKR have extended their lead to 4 points at the fourth spot in the IPL 2020 points table. SRH, on the other hand, continue to remain at the fifth spot with 6 points in their kitty, placed above the bottom three teams based on net run rate only.
Published 19 Oct 2020, 10:45 IST