Former Indian cricketer Ajit Agarkar feels that Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Chennai Supr Kings (CSK) need to opt-in for a different approach in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Both CSK and KKR failed to make into the playoffs in the concluded edition of IPL in UAE with the former being the first team to be out from the race to the knockouts. This was the first edition to have witnessed MS Dhoni & Co not making the playoffs, while it has been the second consecutive year for the Knight Riders.
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The 42-year-old Mumbai-born was of the opinion that CSK needs a bit of restructuring, KKR, on the other hand, has to be a bit more consistent considering the number of match-winners they have got on board.
Kolkata Knight Riders were in better positions, says Ajit Agarkar
Agarkar, who played for KKR back in 2008-10, strongly believes that they have plenty of T20 specialists on board who could win them matches on a consistent basis.
“I think there are a couple of teams, CSK certainly need a little bit of restructuring. But the one team I hope plays better or plays a bit more consistently is KKR. I think KKR certainly has a lot of match-winners in them or T20 specialists if you like. They should be doing a lot better,” Agarkar said on the Star Sports Show – Cricket Connected.
Though Morgan performed reasonably well with the bat in hand, the southpaw couldn’t quite shine as the captain. Agarkar hopes for a bit more consistency from the Knights and wants them to stick to a single skipper throughout the season.
Eoin Morgan captained the side in seven matches with KKR winning on three occasions. However, he shined with the bat as he scored over 400 runs at an average and strike rate of 41.80 and 138.41 respectively. The likes of Dinesh Karthik, Nitish Rana, and Andre Russell weren’t consistent with the bat. In the bowling department, spinner Varun Chakravarthy surfaced as the highest wicket-taker for the franchise as he scalped 20 wickets, averaging 20.94 and an economy under 7.00.
“They were in better positions, changed the captain for some reason midway through and you could see that there was something not right in the camp. I think it has happened before as well and somehow, they scraped through to the playoffs.
They have got far too good a team to be inconsistent. T20 format is very difficult to be consistent, but they have got far too good a team to be that. So, I hope they get those things right. And especially, get the leadership, whoever it is, and stick to it during the course of the season,” added the former speedster who picked 288 and 58 wickets in 191 ODIs and 26 Tests respectively.
KKR finished their campaign on a winning note over Rajasthan Royals (RR), however, Sunrisers Hyderabad, who enjoyed a better Net Run Rate (NRR) managed to snatch a spot in the playoffs, and thus, KKR had to finish at the fifth spot in the points table.