Kolkata Knight Riders blaze off the blocks only to stumble thereafter


Aryan Surana

Kolkata Knight Riders, under new skipper Shreyas Iyer, kicked off their IPL 2022 campaign on a promising note with three wins in the first four matches. However, their campaign suffered a massive setback after that as they lost five matches in a row.

With 10 points in 12 matches, the two-time title holders are dwelling in the bottom half of the points table. In their 9th game of the season, versus Delhi Capitals, KKR handed debuts to Baba Indrajith and Harshit Rana. Having tinkered with the combination, they have made 13 changes in their playing XI so far- the most by any team in this season. As many as five batters have opened the innings for Kolkata Knight Riders so far in 9 matches. The struggles of their best batter from last season, Venkatesh Iyer -who is averaging an abysmal 16 at a strike rate of 97 – has been the chief reason behind their poor PowerPlays.

Despite his pedestrian returns, Daniel Vettori and Ben Cutting have backed the all-rounder's inclusion in the Kolkata Knight Riders' eleven. Vettori said: I think I will still keep him in the side as he creates great balance. They should try and get a few more overs out of him. I don't mind if they want to try and slide him down the order now and use him as a genuine all-rounder because that's what he is. When you play someone as a genuine all-rounder, they get an opportunity to bat and bowl. They can impact the game twice rather than once like he's trying to do with the bat.

Half-centurion Aaron Finch restored order for a while but then his vulnerabilities against the moving ball are no longer a secret. Sunil Narine, Sam Billings and Ajinkya Rahane have been found wanting against rapid short balls. They might have had an insipid season with the bat, but you can benefit from the new UK casino bonuses.

KKR have also rang the changes in their batting order quite often, not designting any specific slot to their batters. This has often put the burden on Andre Russell lower down the order.

Varun Chakravarthy, who made a splash in the UAE, is now looking out of sorts, with no backup to replace him in the KKR squad. Their death bowling is poor with all of Pat Cummins, Tim Southee, Umesh and Shivam Mavi weak in this department of the game. Just like last season, they need to make some bold calls and will need a miracle of biblical proportions to drag them into the playoffs.