3 Reasons Why KKR Are Struggling In IPL 2022

The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), under new skipper Shreyas Iyer, started off their IPL 2022 campaign on a positive note with three wins in the first four matches. However, their campaign got derailed after that as they lost four matches in a row, two by heavy margins and two were tight losses.

With 6 points in 8 matches, the two-time title holders are languishing in the bottom half of the points table, just above Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.

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Here are the three main reasons for KKR’s downward spiral this season:

Constant chopping and changing

In their 9th game of the season, versus Delhi Capitals, KKR handed debut caps to Baba Indrajith and Harshit Rana. Now they have made a total of 13 changes in their playing XI so far- the most by any team in this season.

This epitomizes the KKR captain and management’s lack of confidence in their chosen players. When players are not given a longer rope and if one is dropped after a few failures, it breeds insecurity in others. It is indeed a tad surprising from head coach Brendon McCullum who has often talked about backing a player to the hilt.

No fixed opening combination

As many as 5 batters have opened for KKR so far in 9 matches. The disappointing form of their best batter from last season, Venkatesh Iyer -who is averaging 16 at a strike rate of 97 – has been a key reason for their poor starts.

Aaron Finch brought some energy at the top with a fifty but then his vulnerabilities against the moving ball are there for everyone to expose. Sunil Narine, Sam Billings and Ajinkya Rahane have been attacked with short balls.

KKR have also been making regular changes to their batting order, not giving any specific slot to their batters. This has often put pressure and high demand to perform on Andre Russell, who can only do so much as an individual player.

A poor squad construction at the auction

It was always a big and scrutinised call to not retain Shubman Gill as, after Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, KKR opted to retain Varun Chakravarthy and Venkatesh Iyer; Gill, once touted to be the future of KKR, is having a good time opening for Gujarat while KKR suffer to get a decent opening pair.

Their squad construction at the mega-auction was horrible too, with them barely getting Umesh Yadav and Tim Southee, their two best pacers, at the end. They don’t have a world-class experienced wicket-keeper (Sam Billings and Sheldon Jackson haven’t made their places own in the eleven with the bat.) Most – or perhaps all – of their batters are vulnerable against high pace and short lengths.

Varun Chakravarthy, who had two brilliant seasons in the UAE, is now having an off-year, with no backup in the KKR squad. Their death bowling is poor with all of Pat Cummins, Southee, Umesh and Shivam Mavi really weak in this phase of the game, while once again demanding Russell to do the job at the end.

Just like last season, they really need to make some bold calls and will need a miraculous man to drag them into the playoffs.

Also Read: IPL 2022: Wasim Jaffer Took A Subtle Dig At Boria Majumdar

Jatin Khandelwal

Hi, I am Jatin Khandelwal. Cricket writing came accidentally for me with an undergrad engineering degree. With opportunities first as a freelancer and then full-time, and experience with time, I have grown in the role. The Cricket Lounge is a place where I can thrive with the best of my abilities.

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