When Shreyas Iyer was selected as the new Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain, head coach Brendon McCullum called him an “absolute superstar” and the best buy of the decade for the team.
But now things seem to have gone wrong between the two.
In the KKR match against Rajasthan Royals, Yuzvendra Chahal scored a hat-trick and Iyer, who had just been fired, was visibly upset at McCullum coach for not sending Pat Cummins to the bat. It was the beginning not only of a series of KKR defeats, but also of the emergence of rifts between Iyer and the KKR administration.
KKR started the campaign well, but in the middle of the tournament everything went downhill. The team won three of the first four matches, but then lost five games by cash register.
Currently, KKR is in seventh place in the table with only five wins in 12 games. Their chances of qualifying for the playoffs also look bleak.
IYER DIFFERENCES WITH TEAM MANAGEMENT
Brendon McCullum (l) and Shreyas Iyer (R). Photo: Twitter
It was the constant changes in player XI that led to Iyer’s disagreements with coach McCullum. After winning against Mumbai on Monday, Iyer gave more comments on the team’s selection.
Talking about the presentation after the game, Iyer talked about the changes in the playing of the XI team. He found that even CEO Venky Mysore was sometimes also involved in the team selection process.
“It’s really hard to tell players about team selection. The coach and sometimes the CEO are also obviously involved in team selection,” he said.
WHAT WENT WRONG?
The selection of the KKR team this season was quite confusing. In the 12 games so far, KKR has experimented with 20 players.
McCullum reportedly was behind the changes in player XI, which is also one of the reasons why the team has also lost four of its eleven matches so far.
Even in the last game against the Mumbai Indians on May 9, KKR made five changes to the team
BAD TEAM SELECTION
Brendon McCulum. Photo: PTI
KKR experimented with Pat Cummins and Tim Southee in the bowling department. Cummins, who joined the camp from the fourth game, entered the XI in just four games. Although he led KKR to two phenomenal wins against Mumbai, he was on the bench in some key matches.
Southee, on the other hand, played seven matches and won 12 goals. In Cummins, KKR has an allrounder option that can also achieve quik runes. In Southee, KKR has a bowler who can bow decent spells, but he’s not exactly a handy hitter.
The KKR management was trying to get the right combination of bowlers.
Billings himself, who played six games, scored just 99 runs. Sheldon Jackson has also been disappointing so far scoring just 23 rounds in 5 matches.
KKR also experimented with the order of hitting Sunil Narine, who also didn’t impress with a bat this season. In 12 matches, Narine managed to score only 49 runs.
READY GAME FOR KKR?
KKR with only two championship games has little chance of qualifying for the playoffs. But their chances also depend on other teams, especially Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore who also have a chance to qualify for the playoffs.
KKR’s next game is against Hyderabad on May 14th. Both teams with 10 points each are in a do or die situation.