In the 5th match of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020), the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were finally seen in action as they took on the defending champions, the Mumbai Indians (MI).
After being put in to bat by Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav made merry against some wayward KKR bowling. Although the 2-time IPL champions pulled back the run rate towards the end of the innings, MI finished with a daunting total of 195/5.
The KKR chase never really got going, with only Dinesh Karthik and Nitish Rana getting any notable starts. Pat Cummins, who conceded 49 runs in his 3 overs with the ball, redeemed himself slightly with the bat as he hit Jasprit Bumrah for 4 sixes in an over.
Here are 3 tactical mistakes that were made during the KKR vs MI IPL 2020 match.
#3 KKR bowled far too short to Rohit Sharma without adequate protection in the deep
Rohit Sharma scored 80 off 54 balls against KKR, and this innings consisted of 3 fours and 6 sixes. A major characteristic of the knock was the number of pulls and cuts that the MI captain played, with Pat Cummins, Sandeep Warrier and even Sunil Narine at times far too short.
Rohit is one of the best players of the short ball in the world, and without adeqaute fielders in the deep, it was far too easy for him to dispatch the balls for boundaries. In fact, even if KKR had set fielders for the pull, the opener would have cleared the short boundaries in all likelihood.
KKR's bizarre decision to bowl short to Rohit was one of the major reasons behind their downfall.
#2 KKR chose to play Nikhil Naik over the likes of Rahul Tripathi and Siddhesh Lad
The No. 7 role in the KKR batting lineup was a topic of heated discussion in the lead-up to IPL 2020, with the team lacking an Indian all-rounder who could play at the position. Experts suggested that playing a specialist batsman at No. 7 doesn't make much sense, but KKR did just that when they picked Nikhil Naik.
The wicket-keeper scored only 1 run before top-edging a pull, but by the time he came to the crease, the game as a contest was long over. KKR could've played either Siddhesh Lad or Rahul Tripathi at the opening slot alongside Sunil Narine, with Shubman Gill pushed down to the No. 3 position where he has batted at before.
A batsman at No. 7 is entirely wasted, and this is an issue that KKR have to resolve at the earliest.
#1 KKR sent Andre Russell in far too late
Another major talking point ahead of IPL 2020 was how KKR would use their most destructive batsman - Andre Russell. The big West Indian has made no secret of his desire to bat higher up the order, but captain Dinesh Karthik and coach Brendon McCullum have stated that they believe he is better suited to the latter half of the innings.
Russell came in at No. 6 today, with the score reading 77/4 after 11.4 overs. The required run rate was already very high by the time the all-rounder came out to bat, and both he and Eoin Morgan took their time before attempting to go big.
Both batsmen couldn't capitalise and lost their wickets in the space of 4 balls with the required run rate hovering around the 20 mark. Given that the target was as high as 196, Russell should've definitely been sent higher in the order.
Published 24 Sep 2020, 00:21 IST