Dear Management of KKR,
Honestly after today’s performance, I want to cry my heart out and scream at every one of you for destroying the emotions and the reputation that was built over a prolonged period of time, but then again, let’s just keep our head about us and ask a few questions.
First and foremost, how much research was put in by the management to study the history of UAE pitches? Throughout the cricketing antiquity, the tracks of UAE have been bowling friendly. Probably a clear distinction has not been drawn but the scales were never tipped in favor of the batsmen. On surfaces like these, even a child can predict merely swinging the bat with tonnes of muscle behind it will not get you anywhere closer to the ropes. You may get an elevation, yes, but definitely not the distance. Yet, you chose to splurge on Andre Russell, given his previous year’s performance forgetting the fact that he is a pinch-hitter and not your regular batsman.
In the process of cementing Russell, you let go of other foreigners who could have actually made a significant impact on the side with the bat. More importantly, this surreal strategy of playing five or six batsmen on bowling-friendly tracks is a dilemma itself, especially when you have the likes of all-rounders like Narine and Russell who can bat and bowl. The five batsmen who were chosen by you to pull off that monumental task that you expect from them are producing peanuts and honestly, they have never looked in shape.
Let’s get to the specifics now. Shubman Gill has seemed to be decent but he has been nowhere close to what a T-20 batsman should be. Hence, KKR becomes the team with the lowest powerplay totals throughout. Despite the fact that Narine kept on failing as an opening partner, he was being pushed to open the batting instead of Rahul Tripathi.
Next comes in the picture the most glaring inconsistent player in the ranks of KKR, Nitish Rana. Rana is undoubtedly one of the best batsmen in the tournament in the shortest version of the game but with alien tracks in play, he has been nothing short of a bowler who occasionally chips in with those crazy performances with the bat.
The number four position has been a bigger mystery than the ones in the pages of Sherlock Holmes. McCullum himself is still to decipher that who can be the cricketer to solve this impossible puzzle. Morgan, Rusell, Narine and Karthik, all of them have failed in that position. It seems that the position was omitted completely from the brains of Kolkata Knightriders.
Morgan has looked like the only batsman in the entire squad who knew what he has been doing, however, he has always fallen short of partners. Here comes our muscle-man, more muscles and less cricket, Andre Russell, rather known as Dre Russ. He has failed miserably with the bat and from being one of the biggest heroes of the last year, he has turned into a mighty villain this year.
The best hope for Kolkata other than Morgan has been Pat Cummins. He has also scored a sensational half-century and smacked Bumrah for 4 sixes in a single over. However, he has failed to scalp wickets despite being economical.
Did I just miss out on Dinesh Karthik? My apologies, Baz. Karthik has been nothing but an extension of a pedestal batting line-up that has never looked as if they are destined for something great.
Now comes the bowling chapter. Cummins has shown some promise and Narine has been the best bet. Lockie Ferguson made an instant impact on the game after being given a start out of desperation. However, the continuous experiment and the lack of trust that you guys have shown for these youngsters have dented the bowling unit.
Why can you not show the same trust in Mavi, Krishna, and Nagarkoti like you have been doing in these batsmen who are repeatedly failing match after match? At least, these youngsters have fought their way out to keep on coming back when you kept on writing them off. Every single team has a decent fast bowler who has had some experience in an international squad. Our auctioneers thought that it is okay to roll the purse over on a solitary bowler and then return with bits and scraps.
If I would have been the coach, I would have literally torn down at Rahul Tripathi today for even thinking about attempting that shot against Mohammad Siraj. When the ball is drifting away from you, in what sane state of mind are you planning to open half the face of the blade? You either slice it hard or let it drift away to the wicketkeeper. That is common sense and apparently, Tripathi didn’t have that.
Nitish Rana had zero clues about what was happening around him. He came for a stroll in the park and shortly returned to his seat when he comprehended that he was done for the good. Gill was excited to attack the bowler when his team needed him and in the process of copying a boundary, he threw himself in front of an express train. Tom Banton learned nothing from Tripathi and like an absolutely dumb fellow nicked the ball to ABD.
After watching Karthik play for the last few games, I have a feeling that I will probably be a better batsman than he has been. It has been like a sorry state of affair for him always. He walks in, defends a couple of balls, and then gets out and walks out nodding his head in disapproval as if there is a goddarn parade waiting for his nod. However, he will never improve his batting, it seems like he has taken a vow for the same.
The rest of the KKR team is not even expected to bat and Morgan’s 30 helped KKR to at least reach 84 in the game, seems like a bloody milestone.
Baz, I am oblivious of what do you keep on scribbling with Abhishek Nayar. However, whatever you do, isn’t really helping the team. I have seen John Wright, Gary Kirsten, Rahul Dravid working wonders without making a single note. I believe its high time you realize it. Notes won’t help you unless you rip those guilty men apart with your rebukes. It is high time to make them realize that cricket is a religion in India and houses and effigies have burnt in the same fire when the fans have been enraged. It is high time that they understand that the same fans who will carry them on the shoulders will not hesitate to put a boot on their throats if the results do not come.
Baz, try and understand that religion in India makes more noises than any other fundamental belief. Cricket is the nation’s biggest religion. You try and mess it with the cricket of a state with your weird scribbles, you will get nothing but hatred from the same loved ones who once pranced to their heart’s content to your wondrous 158 against RCB itself.
A Die-hard KKR fan