Kolkata Knight Riders have been criticised for chopping and changing and using as many as 19 players so far this season, before the match against the Rajasthan Royals.
The criticism didn’t deter KKR Coach Brendon McCullum as he gave left-arm spinner Anukul Roy a debut while bringing in all-rounder Shivam Mavi.
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So when Shreyas Iyer won the toss, it was no surprise that he opted to field first. And his bowlers didn’t let him down as they were on the money from the get go.
Umesh Yadav, who is enjoying a purple patch, got rid of Devdutt Padikkal (2) early, taking a splendid return catch on his follow through to see the back of the batter. That was a wicket-maiden!
Although Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson took to the attack, they didn’t make most of the Powerplay and got only 38 for 1 in the first six overs.
As the innings progressed, Mavi, Sunil Narine and Anukul bowled some tight balls in the middle overs — changing their pace, varying their lines and length, giving very little away.
Umesh who was brought back for his second spell in the 15th over, gave just five runs.
The bowling at the death was sensational — other than Tim Southee who was knocked for a couple of sixes in the 19th over — with just 44 coming off the last 5 overs. Not even a well-set Samson could get on top of the bowlers.
With figures of 0 for 19 off his four overs, Narine could be forgiven for his lethargic fielding on the day.
Debutant Anukul was exceptional with figures of 1 for 28 off his 4 overs. Not only did Mavi take Samson’s big wicket, he was involved in sending Buttler back to the hut taking a catch off Southee’s bowling. Southee picked two wickets despite going for a few.
The KKR attack prowled together and ensured that Rajasthan could barely set a par total.
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