'Break the back of opposition’s batting’: Chopra explains how KKR should use ₹15.5 crore fast bowler in IPL 2021
Kolkata Knight Riders haven’t reached the Indian Premier League final in the last 6 years. Since Gautam Gambhir’s departure from the team, KKR have failed to find the right balance and have continuously floundered in crunch matches. This season they are going with England’s World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan as their captain and will hope that their fortunes turn around.
KKR spent big on Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins in 2020 auctions as they paid ₹15.5 crore for his services. After a sluggish start, Cummins improved his performance in the 2020 season and ended up with 12 wickets.
This season, KKR would hope Cummins performs at his best. Former KKR batsman and commentator Aakash Chopra has some suggestions on how to best utilise the Aussie pacer.
“He is not your gun death bowler, so that admission is important to begin with that even though we have paid him 15.5 crores and by his own admission the ball doesn't start swinging a lot more because you have been paid that kind of sum. So his job is to just make the new ball talk, take a couple of wickets at the top and break the back of the opposition's batting in the first six overs," said Chopra during a discussion on Star Sports.
"If he is able to do that on multiple occasions, he will be fine and then use the remaining couple of overs judiciously. I don't think you will be giving him two or three overs at the backend of a T20 innings."
"He has got bounce, he has got pace, he has got the ability to move the ball sideways after pitching but those attributes are great when the ball is new. So this is how you need to use Pat Cummins and allow somebody else to actually flourish at the backend of a T20 innings.”
“He is also batting well, so lets not discount that aspect of his game because if Andre Russell is misfiring from time to time, there is a Pat Cummins who can hit the long ball and he was fairly consistent with the bat in the 2020 edition. So maybe a bit more from the bat of Pat Cummins," concluded Chopra.
KKR play their first match of IPL 2021 against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 11th at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.