IPL 2024: 3 Changes Kolkata Knight Riders should make to get back to winning ways

Kolkata Knight Riders still sit comfortably at second position having played six games in the tournament thus far.

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KKR ( Photo source : IPL )

At the Eden Gardens, Kolkata Knight Riders hosted table-toppers Rajasthan Royals in the 31st match of the Indian Premier League 2024. The game was set to be an enthralling one as the two top teams of the Indian Premier League standings faced off today in the City of Joy. The away side won the toss and opted to bowl first hoping to utilize the dew in the later half of the match.

Kolkata Knight Riders had a great innings which was led by their overseas all-rounder Sunil Narine. The opener had a lot of luck today but made most of the reprieves as he smashed his maiden century in the tournament. His innings was able to power the hosts to a powerful total of 223/6 in their 20 overs.

Also Check: Sunil Narine makes IPL history: Century, Wicket, and Catch in a single game

In response, the Rajasthan Royals’ openers were able to score runs at a brisk pace and were meeting the required run rate. Indian pacers Harshit Rana and Vaibhav Arora got three wickets between them but they were not economical at all. Sunil Narine struck his magic once again as he scalped two wickets in his three overs. 

However, Jos Buttler stood in the way of the hosts as he kept the strike at one end and kept the runs ticking. Even though the Royals lost a heap of wickets, the English batter made sure that his team was not out. His magnificent century in the final over of the chase made sure that his franchise got the two points away from home. In the end, Rajasthan Royals won the game against Kolkata Knight Riders by 2 wickets.

Here are the three changes Kolkata Knight Riders should make to get back to winning ways -

3. Poor death bowling

Kolkata Knight Riders may have gotten complacent at the death and might have forgotten that the opposition team had one of the biggest match-winners of the game. During the death overs of the second innings, the hosts conceded 62 runs and were only able to scalp two wickets. Out of the two wickets, one of them was a run-out of Trent Boult and the other was picked up by spinner Sunil Narine.

The pacers have a lot of questions to answer especially Mitchell Starc since he was not able to take a single wicket in this high-pressure game. He conceded 50 runs in his four overs and his last over leaked 18 runs which included 5 wides which proved to be costly at the end for the side. Harshit Rana and Vaibhav Arora also leaked runs at the death but their early wickets still helped the franchise to some extent. 

Also Check: IPL 2024 Purple Cap - Most Wickets

2. Lackluster fielding 

The outfield at the Eden Gardens is known to be one of the fastest in India and along with the dew in the second innings, it makes it difficult for the players to have control of the ball. However, in such a competitive tournament, the fielding should be top-notch and if the hosts would have been better in that aspect they would have clinched the two points today.

Game awareness is also a crucial part of fielding and that was lacking during the final over. On the penultimate delivery of the match, the ball went straight to Mitchell Starc and he took time to throw it back. Along with that, if he had thrown the ball to the non-striker end, the opposition would have had to chase one run more off the final ball. These sorts of things make or break the match and at this stage, more awareness is required from the players. 

1. Poor form of Venkatesh Iyer

Venkatesh Iyer’s form in this current edition of the tournament has surely been dwindling but it can be also because of the variety of positions he has batted in. Due to the amazing start of the openers, the power-hitters of the team were sent ahead of him and he was able to face very few balls today.

The rise of Angkrish Raghuvanshi is also a part reason why Iyer has been dropped down in the batting order. Maybe once Nitish Rana is fit and ready to play, the all-rounder may be dropped for him. If the team management decides to take a call on him, they can maybe play a more attacking player in the lower middle order as they also have Shreyas Iyer in the batting who can stabilize the innings if early wickets fall. 

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