IPL 2020, KKR vs MI - Cummins could get the Eden feel: McCullum
IPL 2020: KKR have lost 19 of their 25 games against MI and skipper Dinesh Karthik said it was good they were playing the defending champions early.Updated: Sep 22, 2020, 20:09 IST
In the same hotel but quarantining, Eoin Morgan partook in the virtual media conference from his room but Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) CEO Venky Mysore said all players from England and Australia would be available for their opener against Mumbai Indians (MI), in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. That could mean Morgan, Pat Cummins, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine comprising KKR’s overseas quartet.
KKR have lost 19 of their 25 games against MI and skipper Dinesh Karthik said it was good they were playing the defending champions early. Karthik also said he hoped KKR get a lot of opportunities to “celebrate”, adding that “we can’t be too robotic about it” in the time of physical distancing. “We are all in a bubble and a little bit of leeway can be allowed. Hopefully, that happens very often when we bowl.”
Narine and Shubman Gill have never opened together but with Chris Lynn joining defending champions MI, KKR are likely to start with a new pair. “The no complicated batting style of Narine makes things easy for us. And Shubman is a gun. It’s a very unique opening pair,” said Karthik who was sat with coach Brendon McCullum and Mysore for Tuesday’s Zoom call.
Narine played five games missing seven in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League for champions Trinbago Knight Riders; his absence attributed to having kidney stones removed and then a knee problem. But he hit two fifties and took six wickets and a KKR official said he is available.
McCullum also didn’t rule out Cummins starting --- Mysore said their quarantine ends on Tuesday --- saying the wickets for the first few games could feel like the pacer friendly strips of KKR’s home Eden Gardens “because they seem to have quite a fresh tinge to them.” “Fast bowlers operating in and around that Test match length have done well and one of the best Test bowlers in the world is Pat Cummins,” said KKR’s new coach. “The wickets seem to quicken up a bit under the lights and the ball definitely swung around,” said MI quick Trent Boult.
KKR are yet to take a call on Russell bowling but vice-captain Morgan said he would try and “ape” the Jamaican’s backend power-hitting. “As a batsman, my game has come on quite a lot in the last three-four years,” said England’s World Cup winning captain who played for KKR from 2011-14. Morgan and Russell being slotted for the death overs could mean Karthik batting higher.
“We were a couple of runs short in terms of our total …If we can tighten up on a couple of small areas with accuracy and execution and that is what we will look to do in the next couple of games,” said Boult referring to Saturday’s five-wicket loss to Chennai Super Kings (CSK).