The Knight Riders fell 27 runs short in pursuit of the target of 192 set by CSK at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday. Despite finishing runners-up, KKR would have been proud of the tremendous turnaround they staged in the UAE leg of the competition to make it to the title clash.
In a video released by the Kolkata Knight Riders, Brendon McCullum lauded how the cricketers approached the second leg of the tournament.
"It was a pleasure to watch you guys play. Loved each and every moment of it. And I hope you can look back at it fondly and say "that's what it's like to play in a cricket team that cares for one another." I am incredibly proud of absolutely everybody in this room," McCullum said.
Brendon McCullum hailed the team for the level of commitment they showed during the second phase of the competition.
"The level of commitment that we have shown to play as a team but the crux of absolutely everything we have done for this leg of tour has been outstanding. So be very proud of yourselves when you walk out of here tonight," he added.
KKR were seventh with only two wins under their belt when IPL 2021 came to a halt due to the COVID-19 crisis in India. Eoin Morgan's side played a different brand of cricket in the second phase of the competition in the UAE, winning five of their seven remaining league games to progress to the playoffs.
"It's not easy to achieve" - Brendon McCullum on KKR's comeback
Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum reckons every member of the team will take back some fond memories from their IPL 2021 campaign.
"Sure, we can all look back on at the KKR side of 2021 was some pretty fond memories. And it's not always easy to achieve in cricket so, well done to everyone," McCullum concluded.
KKR CEO Venky Mysore lauded the character shown by the team, saying it would hold them in good stead in the years to come.
"Quoting MSD "if there was one team that deserved to win the championship this year was KKR because of how they have played and the intent they showed etc." But you know it happens. The character that this team has shown no doubt is something that will get us across the line when the next opportunity presents itself," Mysore said.
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The KKR think tank will now return to the drawing board and come up with plans for the next season as their hunt for a third IPL title continues.