Former Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir has blamed the team’s top-order for their loss against Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Wednesday.
KKR got themselves into a knot as they lost five wickets for only 31 while chasing a gargantuan total of 221 runs.
In fact, none of the top-order batsmen were able to get to double digits as KKR crumbled like a pack of cards. Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik and Pat Cummins then got KKR back into the contest with their blistering batting as they scored at a rapid pace. KKR were able to post 202 and only felt short of the target by 18 runs.
Russell, Karthik and Cummins came up with counter-attacking knocks and they were able to keep KKR hopes alive. However, Cummins, who scored a whirlwind knock of 66 runs from 34 balls, finally ran out of partners as KKR were dismissed for 202.
“The top order [needs to be blamed]. Eventually, they [the lower order] ran out of partners. It’s not that they couldn’t have chased this total but they just ran out of partners. If No. 6, 7 and 8 can take you this close then it really shows that there was no application. Chasing 220, there are certain venues like Wankhade or Chinnaswamy where you don’t need to panic,” Gautam Gambhir told ESPNcrickinfo.
Gambhir recalled the 2014 final against Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) when KKR had to chase a big score for victory. He told his teammates to bat sensibly in the powerplay overs as they can accelerate towards the fag end of the innings if they have wickets in hand.
“I remember in the 2014 IPL final we were actually chasing 200. And I got into the dressing room during the innings break and I said only one thing: ‘We will never be able to win the game in the first five overs but we can easily lose it in the first 5-6 overs. Even if we need 50 or 60 in the last five overs, even 80, we are still in the game. But don’t go bang-bang thinking we have to chase this in the first 6 overs and end up losing 5-6 wickets’. That is exactly what KKR did today,” added Gautam Gambhir.
Gambhir added that KKR could have lost this match by a huge margin of 150 runs and it is the responsibility of the top-order to lay down the foundation for power-hitters like Russell, Karthik and Cummins. KKR have lost three out of the four matches and they will aim to bounce back. KKR will play their next match against RR at Wankhede Stadium on 24th April.