They came out of the pursuing Wankhede, where they managed only one victory out of 10 IPL appeared on the spot and Kolkata Knights riders managed to sigh with relief. Brilliant bowling performance with a counterattack by Rahul Tripati and a grain of sand 47 by the captain Eoin Morgan helped KKR snatch its four-loss streak to record just its second win of the season. KKR beat Punjab Kings five weekends to jump from the bottom of the table to fifth place.
Another slow start from Punjab Kings
The Punjab Kings are the slowest starters with the bat, scoring just over the speed of running in six games they have played so far. Monday’s performance was just another look at the same, when Punjab managed only 37 tracks for the loss of a leash, the dismissal of KL Rahul, which implies a ball scoring speed. Shivam Mavi bowled brilliantly in PowerPlay, aiming the full length at both the opening devices and the line outside, allowing only nine runs in his spell three times. However, it was Pat Cummins who reaped the fruits of the pressure created by Mavi, taking the door of Rahul, who managed only 19 out of 20.
Punjab in particular missed the 2018 version of Rahul, which is still the epitome of T20 opening devices with an average of over 50 and a hit rate of over 150 this IPL season. This year, his hit rate in PowerPlay has dropped to 98.90, only better than CSK’s Ruturaj Gaikwad among the killers, who face at least 30 deliveries during this phase. Unfortunately for the Punjab, Chris Gale take third place in the list of impact levels of PowerPlay 100.
The slow approach led to Punjab accumulating the three lowest initial innings this season, one of which was against KKR in Ahmedabad. Is it time for Punjab to rearrange its squad or probably to consider the beating number 1 T20I David Malan, who has been warming up the bench for six games now?
What’s wrong with the Calcutta openers?
Shubam Gill is one of the most talented batsmen India has produced lately. His views have been seen in the recent Test against Australia series and, to a large extent, in the domestic chain. But in the T20s, Gill, despite his decent results in the last three seasons of the IPL, had a relatively slow approach. Excluding his debut season, where he scored 203 runs for 10 assists in a strike of 146, Gil’s scoring speed dropped to 7.08 last season, where he had amassed 440 runs in 373 balls in three and a half centuries. This year he has run only 89 tracks in six games at a speed of 7.2, two of which were single digits.
Nitish Rana, on the other hand, excluding the exquisite 80 in the KKR opening game this season, managed just 106 runs more in the next five games, scoring 7.32, which includes another fifty or more points.
KKR could instead try to readjust the lineup by opening with Tripathi, who played a key role in the top row, scoring 168 runs at a hit rate of 138.8 in six games. In the IPL, where it debuted in 2017, Tripathi has a PowerPlay hit rate of 140.6
Eoin Morgan is finally starting
In addition to their initial concern, another cotton problem that has troubled KKR is the shape of Eoin Morgan. For four innings before this game, Morgan managed only 45 tracks at a speed of only 6.8 for more, in stark contrast to his score of 9.39 from 2019 and until before IPL 2021, the fifth best in cricket T20 among bullies who have achieved at least 1000 runs during the period. But those familiar with Morgan’s career, especially his IPL numbers, may not be surprised by his concerns. In 71 league games, Morgan had a run of 7.50 more for an average of less than 25. However, on Monday, Morgan recorded its second highest IPL score of 2018, scoring 40 balls 47, tied with four borders and two sixes. The hammer helped KKR end its four-game losing streak this season to register only its second victory and then move up the ladder in the points table from the bottom slot.