Kolkata Knight Riders fell from the top position in the points table due to consecutive defeats. They won four out of five games. They were in a better position than the teams at the bottom of the points table. They are in a better position than Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals, and Mumbai Indians.
Their key weaknesses are poor performance in the PowerPlays and expensive pace bowling department. Though the spinners Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, and Sunil Narine are maintaining good economy rate below 8 runs per over, the pacers are conceding more than 10 runs per over.
Mitchell Starc was injured even before the commencement of the tournament and the youngster Kamlesh Nagarkoti was ruled out of the tournament due to injury woes. The KKR managed to pick only seven wickets from eight matches in the first six overs. Death overs are also a point of worry for the team.
They did well to pick crucial wickets in the Powerplays in the games against Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals. They picked three wickets in the game against Delhi DareDevils and managed to dismiss D’Arcy Short and Rahane in the game against Rajasthan Royals at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur.
Speaking about their performances in the Powerplays, the skipper Dinesh Karthik said that “It is very hard (to proceed with plans after not picking wickets in the powerplay),”
“If you don’t get wickets in the Powerplay, then they’re always going hard and you’re wishing for a wicket somewhere.”
The team laid focus on keeping on the flow of runs during the Powerplays rather than picking up the wickets. KKR managed to pick a wicket after 41.14 balls after the Powerplays and KXIP is able to pick a wicket within 3 overs of the Powerplays.
Speaking about their Powerplay woes, KKR bowler Shivam Mavi said that the team is in a good position and can make up for their back to back losses. He accepted that they are failing to make the most of Powerplays but will bounce back for sure. He spoke about the position of the team on the eve of the game against CSK. He said “First up, we are not going for wickets. But early on we are trying to pick the weakness of the player. The main idea is the make them play as many dots as possible.
“We’ve got hit only in two games. We’ve also kept teams to 170-180 and we’ve chased those targets down. The wickets are a lot different as well. If there’s bounce then there are a lot of runs scored. In Bangalore, it was a slow wicket. We kept them to 175.”
The coach of the Chennai Super Kings Stephen Fleming said that one should not neglect the stats while analyzing the pros and cons of a team and the batting attack of their opponents does not match batsmen like Chris Gayle and KL Rahul. He said that the KKR lacked good pacers and they are going to pressurize their pacers. He admitted that the KKR has good spin bowlers and they eyed on thrashing them at the best.