The rest of India may be praying that the hot and humid May somehow passes quickly, but KKR are an exception.
Sure, the oppressive humidity makes playing cricket arduous but the defending IPL champions love to play at the Eden Gardens this time of the year. It’s corroborated by the fact that since lifting their first title in 2012, KKR have won all six home matches held in May.
With two more matches to go in three days, they have a chance to make that score 8-0.
Indian pitches tend to wear out and produce inconsistent bounce towards the end of the season. But Eden Gardens, according to KKR coach Trevor Bayliss, becomes a spinners’ paradise.
“Here, especially in the second half of the season, it starts getting hot and the wicket starts taking turn. We have got some good spin bowlers to do the job. Our bowlers for the last three-four seasons have done a fantastic job,” he said.
Not many IPL teams would put up their hand to say bowling is their strength. KKR are an exception. What they achieved with Sunil Narine in the last three years, Bayliss hopes they can with Brad Hogg this time.The principle remains the same, making it difficult for batsmen to pick spinners. With eight wickets and an economy rate which is a shade over six, Hogg has fast become the go-to bowler for KKR.
“We picked Hogg as a replacement for Sunil because we were not exactly sure what’s going to happen with him. We wanted a spinner who was difficult to pick. He performed a similar role for Perth Scorchers in the CLT20 in September, where not many Indian or international batsmen could pick his wrong ones,” Bayliss said.
Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla’s performance on Monday was also assuring. He took just one wicket but conceded just four runs per over.
If the last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad was any indication, it should get more difficult for the visiting teams at Eden Gardens from now on. Bayliss believes so.