From fairy tale beginning to 6 losses in a row: Kolkata Knights Riders’ woes at IPL 2019

first_imgKolkata Knight Riders started the 2019 Indian Premier League on an impressive note winning 4 out of their first 5 matches. However, they then went on to lose 6 in a row and as the playoffs race heated up, their dream of a 3rd IPL title turned into a bit of a nightmare. It was like KKR were put on the trajectory of a bell curve, with a strict direction to not slip off it.In the first two weeks of the 2019 IPL, Kolkata were among the toppers in the points table, riding on four wins in their first five matches. Their first loss came against Delhi Capitals via a Super Over. They then beat Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets in Jaipur but since that win, Kolkata Knight Riders have struggled to return to winning ways.Now, KKR are in a race against time to make it to the playoffs, placed 6th on the points table, having suffered six consecutive defeats. From 11 matches this season, KKR have only 8 points to show. Also, four of their six last defeats have come at their fortress, the Eden Gardens.So what is the reason behind Kolkata’s downfall in the 2019 IPL?Actually, there are many!KKR batsmen have failed to produce consistent performances in the IPL season. The poor show from the batting side also resulted in some juggling in the playing order but they still haven’t managed to find the right combination there.Over-dependence on Andre RussellRobin Uthappa, Shubman Gill, and skipper Dinesh Karthik have all impressed only on single occasions. KKR were also blamed to be over-dependent on Andre Russell’s big knocks. However, Russell’s knocks of 65 off 25 balls, 45 off 21, and 50 not out off 44 have also resulted in losses, and it could be said it was mainly because he was brought in the games very late.advertisementRussell himself has been asking to be promoted to no. 4 as to get more time to play the match-winning knocks. Dinesh Karthik has also been playing at no. 5 or below and has failed to impress at those positions. The only time Karthik could contribute to KKR’s score with his unbeaten 97 was when he came up to bat at no. 4.Kolkata have also not been using Shubman Gill the way they should have. The 2017 U-19 World Cup hero, Shubman Gill was put to bat at no. 7 by KKR. But he is a top-order batsman and in one of the rare opportunities he got at the top, Gill had scored 65 off 39 when he was made to open against Delhi.Apart from the batting woes, KKR have failed to take early wickets and have leaked runs at the worst economy rate for any team this season (at a run rate of near 9.10), and have dropped catches.Remember the game where Jonny Bairstow was dropped thrice and he went on to smash an unbeaten 80 to win the match for Sunrisers Hyderabad? Those mistakes on the field have hurt the Knight Riders.KKR bowling unit has failed to deliverKolkata’s bowling department has also not clicked so far in the tournament. They have tried Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Sandeep Warrier, Harry Gurney, Yarra Prithviraj on the pace front while their key spinner Kuldeep Yadav has proved terribly expensive this season.Kuldeep was dropped from the side after his figures of 59 off 4 overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore.The perception this IPL has been that Eden Gardens is becoming into a graveyard for spinners, but Imran Tahir has produced his best IPL figures – 4 for 27 – at the Eden Gardens against Kolkata Knight Riders.With loopholes in all 3 departments, Kolkata Knight Riders are now left with only 3 games in hand and need to win all their remaining matches to stand a chance of making the playoffs. KKR, RR and Royal Challengers Bangalore are tied on 8 points each but KKR have a better Net Run Rate than the other two and that places them sixth on the table.Also Read | IPL 2019: Williamson hopeful of SRH’s playoff chances despite crushing defeat to RRAlso Read | Need to continue winning, says Steve Smith on playoff chances after beating SRHAlso See:last_img read more