Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) coach Brendon McCullum has said that his team would like to play the brand of fearless cricket Prithvi Shaw did against them on Thursday. McCullum, though, admitted that things are not falling into place for KKR as far as their batting is concerned.
Taking first strike in Ahmedabad against Delhi Capitals (DC) after losing the toss, KKR only managed a disappointing 154 for 6. Shaw then clobbered 82 off 41 balls, scoring 24 off his first six, as DC thumped KKR by seven wickets in a one-sided IPL 2021 encounter.
At a virtual press conference following KKR’s emphatic defeat, McCullum expressed disappointment at his team’s continuous no show with the bat, saying:
“It is very, very disappointing. As a player, you are asked to be given freedom and confidence and loyalty when it comes to selection - to go out there and take the game on and try and be aggressive and to try and make things happen for your team. That’s the style of play that both I and the captain have asked of our players. Unfortunately, we are not quite getting that yet, certainly not in the abundance that we need it. What we saw from Prithvi Shaw was a perfect template of how we want to play.”
McCullum further elaborated on his expectations from KKR’s batsmen:
“You are not always going to be able to hit every ball for four or six. But we can have the intent to do so, particularly when given a free license. Unfortunately today, we did not play enough shots. That has become sort of a theme. A saying that I have used often is ‘if you can’t change men, change the men’. We’ll probably have to make some changes and bring in some fresh personnel, who will hopefully try and take the game on a little bit more.”
KKR batsmen not putting pressure back on the opposition: Brendon McCullum
Asked to elaborate what he feels the KKR batsmen are doing wrong, McCullum observed that it is a matter of application where the batsmen have been found wanting. He said in this regard:
“The order, on paper, looks really good. It just hasn’t delivered in its entirety. You can only look at the best games of guys when you are putting together a batting order. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to go on and post suitable scores or lay the simple foundation for our real strength, which is in the middle. Andre Russell did well tonight, coming in and being able to pick up the pace. On a slow surface, you have got to maximise the new ball, with the fielding restrictions.
McCullum further added:
"In T20 cricket, you have got to park the old-school mentality of trying to find a boundary and then getting one. You’ve got to put some pressure back on the opposition. If you get a boundary, then look for another one. If you are able to do that, then the opposition bowler is under immense amount of pressure. It is more of an application thing. It’s not happening, so we’ll have to make some changes for sure.”
KKR’s defeat on Thursday was their fifth in seven games as they remain fifth in the IPL 2021 points table.