Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowling coach Kyle Mills was impressed with the team's performance in their 10-run win over the Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday. KKR's bowling unit was extremely economical in the encounter, managing to defend 167 runs which looked slightly below par given the pitch.
However, for the second season running, KKR did not back left-arm unorthodox spinner Kuldeep Yadav. After having a poor IPL 2019, Yadav has not managed to feature consistently in the playing XI and has only bowled nine overs so far in IPL 2020.
Mills stated that Kuldeep Yadav remains a world-class spinner, and the only reasons as to why he was not part of the XI was the team composition and the size of the grounds.
"Kuldeep is one of the best spinners in the world. But just with the make-up of the group at the moment and the size of grounds, it's the reason we went for this XI today and Kuldeep was left out," Kyle Mills said in the post-match press conference.
"But Kuldeep is training the house down. He wants to get back into the starting XI, so competition within the group is certainly aiding our performance on the park," Mills further added.
KKR's Rahul Tripathi is an example for young people who are fighting for a spot in the team: Kyle Mills
Rahul Tripathi had come out to bat at No.8 in KKR's last game against the Delhi Capitals. But this time around, with Sunil Narine failing to deliver at the top, Tripathi got the opportunity to open the innings and grabbed it with both hands, scoring a match-winning 81 runs.
Mills was happy with Tripathi's efforts and satisfied that he made full use of the opportunity that was given to him. He also justified Sunil Narine batting at No.4 and believed that his brief innings gave KKR the momentum in the middle-overs.
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"...He's (Rahul Tripathi) been an example for young people who are fighting for a spot in the team. He's an example to everyone really. He's reaping the rewards from the last game. As they say, a change is as good as a holiday... We have used him as a pinch-hitter; this hasn't quite worked for him (Sunil Narine) at the top," Kyle Mills said.
"So taking him down lower the order gave Tripathi an opportunity and he took that with both hands. Narine came in and played a little cameo, to be fair, and gave us a little bit of momentum at that time," he further added.
KKR play Kings XI Punjab next on Saturday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and will be hopeful of grabbing another victory.Published 08 Oct 2020, 14:31 IST