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Kolkata Knight Riders yet to play to full potential in IPL 2017: Jacques Kallis

Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Jacques Kallis lauded Gujarat Lions for their bowling in the last five overs during their IPL 2017 T20 clash on Friday

ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 23, 2017 00:59 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
IPL 2017,Kolkata Knight Riders,Jacques Kallis
Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Jacques Kallis lamented his side’s bowling performance during the IPL 2017 match against Gujarat Lions.(PTI)

That Kolkata Knight Riders won four out of six games in IPL10 without firing on all cylinders is proof of the strength in depth of this team in purple. (IPL 2017 FULL COVERAGE)

“We will get the odd loss here and there which we accept. But up until this point, we haven’t yet put a full game together and when we start doing that we will be a tough side to beat,” said head coach Jacques Kallis after the four-wicket loss to Gujarat Lions on Friday.

The closest they came to acing all three departments would possibly be against Delhi Dardevils away and Sunrisers Hyderabad at home. With butter-fingered fielding, the Knights beat Gujarat Lions in the opener this season and like in that game, it was the openers who helped them beat Kings XI Punjab.

READ | Suresh Raina calls for bowling improvement from Gujarat Lions in IPL 2017 T20

It seemed like a familiar script when Sunil Narine began making use of Praveen Kumar and James Faulkner’s pace to clear the in-field. But from when Ravindra Jadeja came on to bowl, in the innings’ seventh over, their most productive over was the 18th when Basil Thampi went for 14 after Robin Uthappa hit a four and a six off the first two deliveries. The Knight Riders got only 47 runs in their last five overs.

“Yes, we would have liked to get 200, especially after the start we had. But I must say that they bowled well, especially in the last five overs. They got the yorkers in good and it was difficult for us to get the boundaries. So yes, it was disappointing that we fell 10-15 runs short,” said Kallis.

Bowling below par

The Knights’ head coach also felt their bowling had definitely seen better days. They began with spin from both ends, which seemed absolutely the right idea given the Lions’ record in general and that of Brandon McCullum in particular, but Gujarat Lions got off to a whirlwind. Shakib Al Hasan’s first over yielded nine but Narine went for 16 in his first and the innings’ second, Finch doing all the damage.

READ | Kieron Pollard and Sanjay Manjrekar pictured together after feud in IPL 2017

The third over, again from Shakib, leaked 14 with Finch showing how he enjoys batting at the top of the order rather than in the middle. And even in the Nathan Coulter-Nile over he fell, McCullum took 14 off the last three deliveries. By the end of power play, the Lions were 72/1, seven more than the Knights. Suresh Raina took over from there with a display of responsible stroke-making.

“They batted really well under pressure but I still feel we could have defended better the score. It was certainly not one of our best bowling performances,” said Kallis.

First Published: Apr 22, 2017 12:21 IST