Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum lauded his batters’ intent despite crumbling to 128 all out in a three-wicket loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore but rued not having luck on his side.
On a tacky pitch with bowlers bowling short of length getting extra bounce, Kolkata’s slam-bang approach fell flat as the batters fell while trying to attack anything coming their way.
“I actually loved the intent to be honest, I thought the intent was great. You back the fact that you are playing the extra better and you are playing a long batting lineup. You don’t anticipate getting bowled out obviously. Honestly I felt like we didn’t have a lot of luck today. To be honest, every time we sort of went for the aggressive option, we seemed to find a fielder or things didn’t quite go our way. So that can happen sometimes as well,” said McCullum in the post-match virtual press conference.
Despite the attacking approach backfiring, McCullum wants his team to continue with the high-risk attitude. “But I want us to continue to keep that in the team because that’s what served this side so well last year. And I think you know the way we’ve set our team up with the auction, the players that we picked that suits them as well. Sometimes you get to go a little bit too hard.”
“But now we know where the line is and if we can add a little bit of craft with the wickets we’re coming up against and look to use the bounce as our friend rather than our foe then I think it gives us a good chance. But not quite enough runs but I was pleased with the intent. Little bit of luck and things could have been different.”
Kolkata’s bowlers did extremely well to take the match to the final over against Bangalore. But in the second half of defending 128, their star all-rounder Andre Russell’s shoulder troubles resurfaced, meaning he couldn’t complete his quota of overs. Asked about the same, McCullum said it was too high a risk to give Russell another over with the ball. Eventually, Russell bowled the final over, but Dinesh Karthik finished off the chase with back-to-back boundaries.
“Dre (Russell) had run around the boundary and dived and to stop that boundary for us which was fantastic. Unfortunately he just picked up a little bit of a bump, which made his shoulders a little bit sore. But Dre being Dre he still wanted to try and get the job done and he wasn’t quite able to, but look those are things which happen in low scoring games as well.”
McCullum signed off by saying Venkatesh Iyer will have a huge role to play in the future course of the tournament with his part-time pace. Iyer bowled the 19th over, which yielded two boundaries, making the equation for win simpler for Bangalore.
“In terms of Venkatesh Iyer, he is certainly a bowling option for us and when you play that extra better, you’re trying to share your four overs between the likes of Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer and even Nitish Rana as well. But as the tournament definitely gets deeper as well, I think Venkatesh Iyer has got a huge role to play with the ball for us and certainly helps us to try and balance our side. So look for that in the games to come, no doubt.”