When the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League started three weeks ago, many did not expect the Kolkata Knight Riders to be in their current state – a win away from a title clash. .

Five defeats in seven games in the Indian summer pushed them to seventh in the table and head coach Brendan McCullum punished his players for “paralyzing them with fear”.

McCullum and KKR captain Eoin Morgan made their names by playing fearless cricket, also a feature of the teams they led. But turning words into action is easier than finishing.

However, what has taken place in the Arabian desert over the past few weeks is a change in the way a team plays. Results are not always an accurate measure of change, but in this case tell the story.

Five wins in their next seven matches put KKR in fourth place in the playoffs – the sudden decline in Mumbai Indians’ fortunes helped them – and after beating Royal Challengers Bangalore in the eliminator, they now have to book a place in the final against Chennai Super Kings on Friday to clinch their place in the final against Chennai Super Kings.

No superstars

A look at the KKR Squad reveals that there are no megastars there. Not many people have heard of Venkatesh Iyer before the UAE leg of the tournament, but he has become an advertisement. His early encounter with Shubman Gill was one of the main reasons for the turn. World Cup winner Captain Morgan has scored very few runs for himself, but his tactical, big-game experience and motivational skills often give KKR an edge. Their foreign players are not icons, but utility men who can do the job in a given situation. That’s why KKR’s foreign team has more rotation than other teams.

It also ensures that some players are not overly dependent. Their highest run scorer this season is Rahul Tripathi with 383 runs, and he is the 12th highest scorer overall. Varun Chakraborty is KKR’s highest wicket taker with 16 scalps and he is ranked 10th. This is in stark contrast to the case of the Punjab Kings and the RCB, of whom KL Rahul and Glenn Maxwell are the main allies respectively.

There is no fixed pattern

With KKR, the team is really a star. So, in the eliminator against RCB, Sunil Narine was promoted in the batting order after an excellent spell with the ball and his guest role tilts the balance in their favor. Nitish Rana is not a big name, but a key no. Sent at 3 slot.

With bowling stocks rich in spin and fast bowling resources, Morgan has the luxury of comparing them to match conditions and the batsmen in the middle. Shakib Al Hasan is one of the best all-rounders in world cricket, but does not always get the game with KKR. When he played in the eliminator, he took the Bangladesh star team home in a tense chase.

All of these factors ensure that KKR did not experience the absence of Andre Russell, who has lost the last several games. In previous seasons, the team relied heavily on the West Indies for batting motivation. In the games he played before being injured, he was given the responsibility of bowling full quota overs, and often at death.
But among Indians like Lucky Ferguson and Tim Southee, and Prasid Krishna and Shivam Mavi grew up on this occasion.

Honors, too

KKR and DC have won once this season, but the Kolkata franchise won the recent encounter, sparking a nebulous spirit of cricket between Morgan and Ravichandran Ashwin, who then ran despite his batting. Partner

Delhi topped the league stage, but lost the last two matches and Kolkata won the last two.
The Capitals pace attack was to be expected but they were unable to prevent RCB and CSK from achieving final over wins. Steve Smith is very rare in his performances and lost most of his UAE leg with the injury of Marcus Stoinis. Their batting is largely built around Indian talent — Prithvi Shah, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant — but leaps towards the lower-middle order.

As far as tactics are concerned, this is the case with head coach Ricky Ponting pulling the strings from the dugout, with a young captain on the pitch.

The venue is the same as the eliminator and KKR’s last league match, which gives them confidence. Interestingly, when the two teams met fifteen days ago they beat DC there. The pitch there is not easy and their spin troika hopes to get used to it.

Durga Puja celebrations are in full swing in Kolkata at present. If KKR wins on Wednesday, they will ensure that fans of City of Joy have more to look forward to on Friday, which will also happen for the win.


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