Kolkata Knight Riders’ strength is chasing, says assistant coach Simon Katich
Simon Katich has termed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) a good chasing side, saying the 102-run loss they suffered against Mumbai Indians (MI) was just a one-off, and that they have won most of their matches batting second this Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
“One thing we have done well this tournament is chasing. Obviously, against Mumbai (Indians) that wasn’t the case. Generally, we chase well. It’s just the matter of our batsmen showing positive frame of mind, trusting they are in good form,” Katich, KKR assistant coach, said on the eve of the game against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.
So far, KKR have won five games and lost six. Out of those five victories, four have come while chasing.
‘KKR can turn things around’
The loss to Rohit Sharma’s side in their previous game has had an impact on their net run-rate. KKR now need to win their remaining three matches to qualify for playoffs.
On the other hand, KXIP have four games left and two more victories will confirm their spot in the last four.
Asked how’s the mood in the dressing room, Katich said: “We are confident of turning things around. There’s pressure but the team is capable enough to handle it. Yes, the last few games haven’t been ideal for us but I’m expecting a tough fight from the boys.
“Two pretty hungry teams will be playing (on Saturday). Both can’t afford to lose,” he added.
Asked whether Shubman Gill and Shivam Mavi, both of whom missed the game against MI due to injuries, Katich said: “Both seem fine (for now). Hopefully, both will be available for selection.”
While Gill complained of soreness in his knee, Mavi sustained a finger injury during the home game versus Chennai Super Kings last week.
‘Tye, Mujeeb brilliant’
Meanwhile, KXIP coach Brad Hodge lavished praise on Andrew Tye and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, saying they are lucky to have such exceptional bowlers.
While Tye has taken 16 wickets in 10 games, Afghanistan’s Mujeeb has 14 scalps.
“AJ (Tye) and Mujeeb in particular have been exceptional. Our bowling has been wonderful so far. We are in a situation. I would like to believe there are good days ahead for KXIP,” Hodge said.