Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) coach Brendon McCullum has slammed his team for their negative attitude after Prithvi Shaw's first-over assault on Thursday. McCullum said the KKR players were 'shell-shocked' after the 24-run over instead of trying to regain momentum.
Prithvi Shaw hit six consecutive boundaries against Shivam Mavi to kickstart the Delhi Capitals' chase of 155. With KKR retreating, he continued his assault, hitting a 41-ball 82 and combining with Shikhar Dhawan for a match-winning 132-run opening stand.
Speaking at the post-match press conference after KKR's fifth defeat in seven games this season, Brendon McCullum said that although the first-over was a 'big blow', it wasn't as big a factor as KKR's negative body language post that onslaught.
"It was a big blow for us, but we still should have been able to make a comeback because Andre Russell had plenty of runs for us in the last couple of overs as well, and one big over shouldn't have been the deciding factor. I think after that over, we took a step back, and it's really frustrating from our point of view. We talk a lot about staying in the contest and about hanging in there and trying to put some momentum into the game if it's not with us. And you shouldn't be shell-shocked and not be able to respond, which we were tonight. And that's going to ask a few tough questions from us," said Brendon McCullum.
Thanks to Prithvi Shaw's blitzkrieg, DC romped home with seven wickets and a whopping 21 balls to spare. Shaw has unsurprisingly adjudged the Man of the Match for his knock, including 11 boundaries and three massive sixes.
"I have a lot of respect for Prithvi Shaw" - Brendon McCullum
While Prithvi Shaw made batting look like a piece of cake, none of the KKR batsmen except Andre Russell could score at a strike rate of over 125 on the night.
Speaking further, Brendon McCullum appreciated Prithvi Shaw, DC captain Rishabh Pant and their head coach Ricky Ponting for encouraging a proactive approach to batting, something McCullum is yearning for from his own team.
"I don't think the match was lost in the first over, but it was a huge psychological blow from Prithvi Shaw. I have a lot of respect for Prithvi because not too many people play the game with that sort of approach, and you've got to give credit also to Rishabh Pant, Ricky Ponting and the Delhi Capitals management, who have been able to ask a player to play like that and for him to buy into that. Look, he is a rare talent, and he put us under an immense amount of pressure early on. Shivam Mavi has been really good for us in the couple of games leading into this (match), but he just wasn't allowed to settle," remarked Brendon McCullum.
KKR now have a four-day break before they play against the in-form Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 3.