Why are Kolkata Knight Riders struggling to defend totals?
Over the past IPL seasons, the Kolkata Knight Riders have been one of the tournament’s best bowling attacks. The bowling attack had everything, starting from pace to classical spin and then topped off with the ‘mystery spin’ of Sunil Narine. The Trinidadian is still there and the spin attack is still extremely potent but KKR’s bowling seems to have lost the bite that it had in earlier seasons.
In their previous game, their attack was blown away by the Kings XI Punjab openers. They have lost 3 games so far and all of them came about while defending a score. Against KXIP, they failed to defend 191 while the Chennai Super Kings chased down 202 against them in a canter.
The other loss was in a low-scoring game but a bowling attack with more teeth could have made it interesting. It must be said that chasing teams are nowadays more successful but KKR have found it laughably difficult to defend big scores and it seems they have a problem. Here are some of the reasons why they are failing to defend scores.
#3 Local fast bowling reserves are a bit bare
In the past, KKR had excellent Indian fast bowlers as a part of their attack and that was a huge factor in their bowling attack being such a well-rounded one. Players like Umesh Yadav and Ankit Rajpoot were part of their bowling unit last season.
However, none of those two bowlers was retained. Instead, they went for Vinay Kumar, who was extremely poor in the first two games and in the CSK game, his disastrous last over cost them the game. On the other hand, among the two Under-19 stars, Kamlesh Nagarkotti’s tournament ended without playing a game due to an injury. Shivam Mavi has stepped into the attack and despite bowling really fast, he is far from the finished material yet. This is something that has hampered KKR throughout the tournament.