Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra reckons that the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have lost their way in IPL 2022 due to implausible batting order changes and an inconsistent selection policy.
KKR are currently eighth in the IPL points table. They have lost their last five matches in a row, falling miserably after an impressive start to the season. Kolkata will resume their hunt to return to winning ways when they face the Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday.
Previewing the match, Chopra admitted on his YouTube channel that things are not looking bright for Kolkata, but pointed out that the franchise have only themselves to blame. He said:
“Kolkata are just slipping. It seems like they have no idea of what they are doing. Even I really cannot understand what they are trying to do, both with their batting order and as well as with their team selection. Sometimes Aaron Finch opens the batting, and then out of the blue Sam Billings is sent out at the top of the order. What will they do next? I really don’t know.”
KKR have been constantly experimenting with their batting order. They began IPL 2022 with Venkatesh Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane as openers, with Nitish Rana at No. 3. Subsequently, Venkatesh was pushed down the order before being brought back to the top again. Rana has also been moved into the middle order, with skipper Shreyas Iyer taking over the No. 3 slot.
Click here to view the orange cap in IPL 2022.
“KKR are not taiyaar” - Aakash Chopra
Using the franchise’s own tagline to take a dig at Kolkata, Chopra commented that KKR are not ’taiyaar' for the IPL 2022 challenge. Pointing out the various discrepancies in their planning, he elaborated:
“KKR are not taiyaar (ready). In their last match, they went with four bowlers. What was the logic behind that? I am trying to figure out the system of this team. Rinku Singh is batting down the order although he is one of the few batters who has looked good. Sometimes Venkatesh Iyer is batting at the top of the order, at other times he is batting in the middle order.”
In Kolkata’s previous match against the Delhi Capitals (DC), Aaron Finch and Venkatesh Iyer opened the innings. Both fell for single-figure scores, as KKR were held to 146 for nine while batting first and lost the match by four wickets.