Eoin Morgan, skipper of Kolkata Knight Riders, has credited his backroom staff with creating a safe environment for youngsters to express themselves. They also provided inputs that helped the team achieve a remarkable comeback in IPL 2021, reaching the final against Chennai Super Kings.
Although they started their IPL 2021 campaign winning, Kolkata was struggling to the end of the Indian leg. They had five defeats and two victories. They were placed 7th. After a tie with the Mumbai Indians, they made a remarkable turnaround in UAE. They won five matches and lost only two. This allowed them to reach the playoffs thanks to a higher Net Run Rate. The good starts that they received from Shubman Gill, Venkatesh and Iyer were key to their turnaround.
After young openers Gill & Iyer had given the team another great start, KKR lost six wickets to seven runs at one stage, but won by three wickets to win over Delhi Capitals. They will now face Chennai Super Kings in the final. Another youngster, Rahul Tripathi helped them to get through the line despite some hiccups.
“It gives you a glimpse into the culture of our team – young men feel comfortable expressing themselves. They have the support of their backroom staff to make this possible. There’s expectation with the team we have. Morgan said that he hoped the team could implement everything they’ve planned after Wednesday’s match.
He claimed that it was the team management, especially coach Brendon Mccullum, who elevated Iyer to the opener’s role at the UAE leg IPL 2021. The Madhya Pradesh allrounder impressed everyone with his half-centuries and got the Indian team management to select him for the T20 World Cup.
“Venky’s idea of [his elevation] was from the coach, my God he is a tremendous player. Morgan said that Iyer, who scored a remarkable half-century in KKR’s chase for 136, made the chase simple.
Morgan believed that his team should have won this game more convincingly, based on the start given by his openers. Morgan also stated that his team would dissect the bat meltdown in the final four overs.
“Should have been much easier after the start that we got, Venky Iyer and Gill set the platform. Morgan said after the match that Dew was in, but that we are in the final and it’s a great feeling to be there.
“Would love to win convincingly, but Capitals are an extremely good side. Six out of two was a good result for the bowling team, but Rahul Tripathi has performed exceptionally well for us. Morgan said that it was a great insight into our team culture. The young men coming in feel comfortable expressing themselves.”
Kolkata will travel to Dubai International Stadium to face Chennai Super Kings in Friday’s final. The final will be the first time that these two teams have met since 2012.