Reasons behind KKR's downfall in IPL 2019
- The top order, bowling and Shubman Gill's position in the squad have been a point of contention this season.
Ever since Gautam Gambhir left the Kolkata camp after IPL 2017, KKR's campaigns have had several highs and lows. Kolkata Knight Riders began their IPL 2019 campaign on a high, with 4 wins in 5 matches but then suddenly slumped to 4 defeats on a trot including twice to CSK. Currently sitting at the 6th position in the points table with 8 points in 9 games, the Knights have their task cut out if they intend to make it to the top four.
Over-dependency on Russell
The Carribean Superman who goes by the nickname of Dre Russ certainly was one of the reasons behind KKRs first four wins. Batting consistently at a strike rate of 226 and having hit 39 sixes already, he seems to be in the form of his life. But without much support from the other end, there is also little he can do.
Wrong position for Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill is certainly one of the bigger talents of Indian cricket at this moment. Batting at number 3 in 2018 Under 19 World Cup he showed what he can do, being the leading run-scorer for the champions with 372 runs. Being the batsman who takes a few balls to get set before going for the big shots, number 6 or 7 isn't at all the ideal position for him. Batting at number 3 against the Delhi Capitals he showed what he can do by scoring 65 runs off just 39 balls. After this scintillating knock of his, he was however pushed back to number 7 the very next match against CSK. What was that but a wasteful decision!
Top order woes
KKR's top order has got some big names like Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana and Dinesh Karthik. But all four of them have found runs hard to come by in this edition of the IPL. While Lynn found his form against CSK with his 82 runs off 51 balls, Uthappa and Karthik are yet to find their form. Nitish Rana showed some brilliance at the beginning of the tournament, but has gone downhill since, however his 74 against RCB may be glimpses of his form returning. With the business end of the tournament round the corner it is high time now that Uthappa and Karthik find their form back.
Death bowling and Bowling in general
In the previous seasons, KKR has had the best records in death bowling. However, this IPL tells a completely different story. Against RCB, KKRs bowlers leaked 91 runs in the last 5 overs. Sunil Narine, the most experienced overseas bowler in the KKR lineup hasn't found that many wickets this time around. KKR's left arm chinaman Kuldeep Yadav has been seriously underperforming this season with just 4 wickets in 9 matches at an economy of 8.66. KKR lacks any big names in the pace department with the fast, talented yet inexperienced Prasidh Krishna going for runs at an economy rate of 9.22. Their foreign recruits Lockie Ferguson and Harry Gurney have found wickets hard to come by except for occasional breakthroughs. The injuries to their young speedsters Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti has further added to their woes.
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