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IPL 7: 5-point mantra to success for Kolkata Knight Riders

  • Shah Rukh Khan and Co. is used to making whopping profits during every IPL season. In fact, with a brand value of $44.98 million, KKR ranks second amo ...
Tej Manohar
ANALYST
Modified 15 Apr 2014, 22:57 IST

Shah Rukh Khan and Co. is used to making whopping profits during every IPL season. In fact, with a brand value of $44.98 million, KKR ranks second among the IPL franchises, just behind Chennai Super Kings ($45.98m). A great chunk of these profits, however, has come from various sponsorship deals and sale of tickets; the on-field showing has been inconsistent, after all.Already hampered by the scheduling of fewer home matches this season, the franchise owners would expect the KKR outfit to concentrate on what is in their hands and produce better results. They have certainly done their job by putting together a balanced side. The onus is on the players to justify the franchises faith.KKRs biggest nemesis in the last six seasons has been their batting, especially the lack of firepower at the death. As far as their bowling is concerned, they have the attack to deliver in varied conditions. The teams think tank would be intent on getting the loopholes plugged early in the season. If KKR are to repeat their feat of 2012, the team management must pay heed to these dos and don'ts: 

#5 Dont slate Kallis at No.3/4

One of the highly blatant errors committed by KKR last season was slating Jacques Kallis to bat at No.3. In the 16 innings that he played in IPL 6, he could manage merely 311 runs at 20.73. What hurt KKR more was the way he got his runs: at a paltry strike rate of 96.58. Without an iota of doubt, inability to score at run-a-ball is unbecoming for a top-order T20 batsman, something that Kallis won’t be proud of.

That said, the team management should have been aware of Kallis’ limitations as a limited overs bat. This season, at least, Kallis should be utilized either as an opener alongside Gautam Gambhir or must function purely as a bowler who bats a bit in the lower order.

While batting at No. 3/4, Kallis’ turns into a liability for a side like KKR whose openers (Gautam Gambhir and Manvinder Bisla) themselves don’t strike over 120. Taking the role of a stabiliser at such a crucial position, he deprives his side of any momentum created by the opening pair.

An apt example of the stated deficiency on part of Kallis was on exhibition in Chennai last year. While chasing an imposing total of 200 runs, KKR had got off to a flying start, with the score stood at 63/2 in the 6th over when Kallis walked in. He scored 19 runs off 20 balls only to see the team score crawl to 99/3. Subsequently, he got out in the 12th over. CSK, eventually, won the match by 14 runs. 

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Published 15 Apr 2014, 19:00 IST
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