IPL 2020 has seen KKR struggle badly and one of the primary reasons for their failure has been a poor batting line-up that went through one experiment after the other with all of them failing.
Morgan was the solitary shaft of hope in an otherwise murky and clouded sky for Kolkata while spasmodic bursts of individual brilliance saw Kolkata fighting tooth and nail to stay afloat until the last being played.
Despite being within inching vicinity of play-offs, KKR’s net run rate was pedestrian and that cost them the play-offs spot. Out of all the reasons that Kolkata Knightriders lagged behind, one of the primary ones was letting go of key players who are now proving themselves to be stalwarts of the tournament.
We will take a look at five cricketers that KKR should have not let go and now they are paying a hefty price.
The man whose example has been drawn in close contrast with the fastest cars in the ongoing edition of the tournament has left everyone stunned with his brutal pace. He has bowled the fastest ball in the glittering history of IPL. He has also managed to grab the record of bowling the five fastest deliveries of the tournament, a unique record that will need some good deal of charging to break.
This may come as a surprise to everyone but Nortje was bought in the 2019 auction only to be ruled out of the tournament with a shoulder injury. However, KKR decided to drop the ax on this exciting fast bowler without even testing him.
He has so far done an excellent job as he has managed to claim 20 wickets from 14 games, bowling at an excellent economy rate. Kolkata did seem good in bowling with Cummins leading the charge. However, the kind of destruction that is being wreaked by Nortje in the tournament, had Kolkata decided to keep him, it could have been theirs.
This decision was absolutely bizarre as it is still unclear that why KKR released such a successful batsman in the first place. The last three seasons that he was a part of KKR saw him scoring at averages of 49.16, 32.73, and 31.15 respectively. He is an attacking opener and was the perfect partner to Sunil Narine. Even his last season saw him scoring 405 runs from 13 games that saw him keeping on blasting the bowlers. For some reason, the Kolkata management thought that he will be unworthy of the KKR jersey and decided to sell him off and suffer a batting collapse.
In 2017, Kolkata saw Chris Woakes blooming the finest of magic with some nasty bowling and that got him 17 scalps. Such was his prowess with the ball that he was terrorizing batsmen with the cherry in the hand. In the same edition, he managed to claim all those wickets. Unfortunately, KKR dropped Woakes and that picked Kolkata’s best interests badly.
One of Australia’s finest fast bowlers came back to play in IPL after a hiatus of 7 years. He is a rock-solid fast bowler and can swing the ball by a considerable distance. Though his contribution in the colors of Mumbai for 2020 hasn’t been extraordinary, he has bowled at a very miserly rate thereby setting up the platform for Bumrah and Boult to explode. Coulter-Nile unleashed hell upon the batsmen in the colors of KKR as he managed to scalp a whopping 15 wickets in the tournament. If Kolkata could have brought him back, he would have made a perfect combination with Cummins to disrupt the opposition.
Suryakumar Yadav has shown it to the world, that if given a real chance, what kind of destruction is he capable of batting. He stitched 461 runs from 15 games that also saw him playing a few exquisite strokes, especially from an uncapped cricketer.
While he was in KKR, he was equally adept. However, Kolkata’s heavy top-order pushed him to number 5 or 6 that gave him very little time to adapt. The paucity of time did not act as any hindrance in the youngster as he rose his way to the top and right since his arrival at Mumbai and promotion to the higher ranks of the batting line up, he has simply seemed to be invincible. Kolkata lost out on a gem when they let this youngster don on the jersey for Mumbai.