IPL 2019: Match 6, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab – Tactical failure of the game

IPL 2019: Match 6, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab – Tactical failure of the game

Andre Russell's 17-ball 48 played a key role in powering the Kolkata Knight Riders to 218/4.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo Source: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

After electing to bowl first, the Kings XI Punjab needed to get their plans right against the Kolkata Knight Riders on what deemed to be a batting paradise. The KXIP made as many as four changes for this game and had a completely different bowling attack compared to the one they fielded in the first match. The main threats for them in the opposition camp were the Caribbean boys – Sunil Narine and Andre Russell who could make a difference in the powerplay and death overs respectively with their power-hitting.

A blunder of a decision:

The mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy was introduced in the 2nd over itself that didn’t seem to be a greatest of decisions with Sunil Narine’s presence at the crease. Chris Lynn took a single on the first ball of the over while Narine welcomed Varun with a six down the ground on the 2nd delivery. The next ball produced a chance as the left-hander hit one straight to the leg-spinner who couldn’t hold on. The next three balls went for four, six and six as 25 runs were extracted from Chakravarthy’s maiden over in the IPL.

Narine has an impeccable record in the first six overs against spin-bowling that the KXIP overlooked. He aggregated 154 runs from just 64 balls at an S/R of 240.6 against the spinners during the powerplay overs in the IPL before this game. He smashed 15 fours and 12 sixes against the spinners but got out on six occasions. Narine’s numbers are even better against the leg-spinners as he scored 60 runs from only 23 deliveries at 260.87 against them during the powerplay by getting out only once.

Mismanagement of bowlers:

After Chakravarthy conceded 33 runs from the first nine balls he bowled in the game, the Kings XI looked reluctant to hand the four-overs quota to the debutant. In search of a wicket, Ravichandran Ashwin turned up to Mandeep Singh who himself bowled his first over in the IPL during his 84th game of the league. 18 runs were yielded from the 13th over bowled by Mandeep and Ashwin was forced to turn up towards Varun for the 15th over.

The mystery spinner showed his variations by bowling five consecutive dots in his 3rd over and also dismissed the dangerous Nitish Rana who scored a 34-ball 63. KXIP could have given the 4th over to Varun against the dangerous Andre Russell. In the IPL, Russell has scored 80 from 69 deliveries at a low S/R of 115.94 against the leg-spinners getting out to them on four instances. He was tentative against the leggies in the previous edition as he scored only 28 from 33 balls at 84.85 S/R by getting out once.

However, the visitors didn’t risk to go with the debutant during the last five overs and settled with the trio of Hardus Viljoen, Mohammed Shami, and Andrew Tye. Their persistence with Shami was a debatable move given Andre Russell’s good record against the Indian pacer. The all-rounder scored 47 runs from only 14 balls with seven sixes off Shami in the IPL before this game. But Shami got his lengths perfect this time around by giving away only three singles from the four balls he bowled during his 3rd over to Russell.

In fact, Shami cleaned up the Caribbean star in the 17th over but an error committed, surrounding following the field restrictions turned it to a no-ball. Russell struck 22 from the last four balls of Shami’s final over as the pacer bowled low full tosses and length balls this time. If not for the Russell-blitz, the Knight Riders would have been restricted to a total below 200, which could have been in the Kings XI’s sight despite early wickets.

Here is KKR’s squad for IPL 2019

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