KKR had a forgettable run in the first half of IPL 2021, winning only two of their seven games. Captain Eoin Morgan managed only 92 runs at a strike rate of 112.19, while Karthik scored 123 runs with a best of 40.
KKR will face Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi tonight. Previewing the game, Hogg said on his YouTube channel:
“KKR have been on the back foot. They have had time to recalibrate over the last couple of months. They have still got issues in the middle order. (Dinesh) Karthik’s got to step up, (Eoin) Morgan as well. If those two don't step up, KKR are not going to make the final this year. They cannot rely solely on Andre Russell to finish off innings. The other two experienced players have to come of age.”
According to Hogg, Morgan’s failure to inspire as leader is also a cause of concern for KKR.
“Morgan's captaincy is under question in these T20 tournaments, whether with England or with KKR. So there could a little bit of unease in KKR over who is going to lead them if they lose this fixture. That is another issue for KKR moving forward,” Hogg added.
Not having Pat Cummins a headache for KKR: Brad Hogg
The 50-year-old also admitted that KKR would miss the services of pacer Pat Cummins, both for his bowling as well as for the all-round skills he offers.
“Their biggest headache is not having Pat Cummins there. Cummins is one of the better fielders out of all the fast bowlers around the world. He can use the bat as well, so that is going to be a big loss for KKR. So, do they go with Tim Southee, who is more of a swing bowler rather than a fast bowler? Or do they go with the sheer pace of Lockie Ferguson? I think they will have to go with Ferguson ahead of Southee because of that extra pace and bounce, just to add something different into the line-up,” Hogg opined.
Hogg picked RCB as the likely winner of the clash against KKR on Monday. Explaining his choice, Hogg said:
“RCB have a very balanced team. (Wanindu) Hasaranga coming in with his leg-spin and his ability to bat down the order, gives them a little bit of extra depth. They have got Siraj, Harshal Patel as well as Kyle Jamieson. It is about Maxwell standing up as well. I think RCB are going to take this game away.”
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RCB are in third position in the points table, with five wins from seven games.