Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Eoin Morgan has said that the players are very much aware of the grim COVID-19 situation in India. He also admitted that playing during such tough times is nothing short of a challenge.
India has recorded an alarming number of COVID-19 cases and deaths over the past month. Owing to the critical situation, three Australian players - Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa and Andrew Tye - recently quit IPL 2021 and headed back home.
Sharing his thoughts on the pandemic, Eoin Morgan said at the post-match press conference:
"It's challenging, and things have to be managed for the players and staff, and we know the horrific nature of what's happening outside the bubble. We try and lend our support, and we've seen how devastating it is not only in India but around the world. If you're going out, stay safe, wear a mask, maintain social distance. We've seen huge amounts of tough times, even at home. On behalf of KKR ,we wish everyone well. We can stick together; we can beat this thing."
Apart from the Australian trio, India’s Ravichandran Ashwin also pulled out of the tournament to support his family in the fight against COVID-19. Meanwhile, KKR pacer Pat Cummins, on Monday, informed that he donated $50,000 to the 'PM Cares Fund' for the purchase of oxygen supplies in Indian hospitals.
A number of COVID-19 patients in the country have died in recent days, owing to the absence of oxygen cylinders.
Nice to lead the team: Eoin Morgan
On the field, Eoin Morgan led from the front with an unbeaten 40-ball 47 as KKR ended their four-match losing streak with a five-wicket victory against Punjab Kings (PBKS). Reflecting on his team's much-needed win, Eoin Morgan said:
"Nice to lead the team. We've worked incredibly hard but didn't perform as well as we would have liked initially. Today our performance was really, really impressive, especially from our bowlers and the way we started and kept the pressure throughout. On a wicket like that, in 12th or 13th over, the ball continued to slide on and got better and better. Still a lot of time to go in the tournament (on getting off the bottom of the table), we can't take it for granted."
After restricting PBKS to a modest total of 123 for 9, KKR chased down the target in 16.4 overs. Apart from Eoin Morgan, Rahul Tripathi chipped in with 41.
With the ball, Prasidh Krishna claimed three wickets, while Sunil Narine and Pat Cummins picked up two wickets apiece.