The Indian Premier League is entering its final stages ahead of the play-offs.
The main aspect for teams at this juncture is to pick up a form or maintain the consistency, but in IPL 2019 KKR have done the exact opposite.
In IPL 2019 KKR, who started the season with a bang, are in a position of bother. Their IPL 2019 campaign seems to be getting over rather quickly.
The famed eastern giants have become too predictable for teams and that’s become an issue for the Dinesh Karthik-led side.
In IPL 2019 KKR were table-toppers after having played five matches with four well-earned victories. Since then, everything has seemed to go haywire for the side.
Four successive losses with three at home is something the franchise wouldn’t have hoped for. The major issue for the side is the bowling, which promised aplenty prior to the season.
But from game one, the body language of the bowlers have been negative.
Nine matches into the season, of IPL 2019 KKR’s bowlers haven’t changed their guard. There is no pleasure in watching them. The wicket columns have been dismal as well.
KKR have hardly been able to pick up wickets in matches and that has allowed teams to show their resurgence in approaching big scores.
Skipper Dinesh Karthik has done little significance in not coming with a proper plan and execution. That has hurt the side even more.
The loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday highlighted KKR’s problems and also shows a chunk in the leadership armour.
They have a battle in hand now and need to stitch a flurry of wins to qualify for the play-offs. At this rate, the chances of being amongst the top four looks almost over.
Here we analyse KKR’s rapid fall in IPL 2019 and how DK has lost the plot completely.
Karthik’s leadership attributes have been questionable
The freshness Karthik brought last season is missing this term. It is as if he is depending on miracles from Andre Russell to come and rescue the side in every game.
He has been consistently going in with players that haven’t performed. The question arises that is Karthik bold enough to drop players who are in their comfort zones?
At the moment he looks timid and clueless. The decision-making has robbed him. He doesn’t know what his middle order should be in terms of which batsmen bat where.
Shubman Gill struggled at Eden Gardens against Chennai Super Kings as a finisher and he laboured his way through. And then on Friday, the youngster was asked to bat at number three when the side needed 214 runs to win. Gill suffered and got dismissed in a flash.
As a team one needs the best batters to come early.
So Nitish Rana and Russell need to come at number three and four to keep the momentum. At the moment allowing a struggling Robin Uthappa bat ahead of them is robbing KKR.
It was his approach that saw the side lose their way in the chase against RCB.
Karthik has harmed the side for not taking the mantle himself. He is a proven customer and needs to come early on like he did last season.
He hasn’t been in the scenes. There is a feeling of him hiding at the moment. Also the decision to back players like Kuldeep Yadav and Prasidh Krishna game in and out makes little sense. They have been a disaster this season.
Karthik’s decision-making in terms of personnel in the starting XI has been a major failure.
In IPL 2019 KKR have been one dimensional
It is safe to claim that KKR have been one dimensional. There is no surprise element and the performances have been similar.
Teams know the weak link they possess and that’s hurt the side. The bowlers have lacked the urgency and it’s the same old tactics.
Krishna is really lucky to keep his place. One doesn’t understand why an in-form bowler like Sandeep Warrier is limited to the bench? As of now Krishna has bowled at one tempo.
He has been on the shorter side and bad length balls have done him in. There is that dimension that is being discussed here.
Sunil Narine provides the hit or miss theory upfront. Teams have a plan against him and it has worked well. Why not shaken things up?
Why are KKR shying away from tactics? Opening with a Gill or Uthappa allows Chris Lynn to attack from the word go. And that’s where someone like a Uthappa can take his time and rely on strike rotation.
The approach by KKR at the moment is no matter how we bat, we will rely on Russell to come and bail us out every game. This has made sure that KKR have lost wickets aplenty while batting.
There is a sense of rush and madness and often there is a lack of steel. If this dimension doesn’t change, then KKR will continue to struggle.
In IPL 2019 KKR’s bowling has been awful
In IPL 2019 KKR were expected to benefit largely especially from their trio of world class spinners. Instead, the likes of Piyush Chawla, Sunil Narine and Kuldeep have been below par.
16 wickets are all that KKR have managed from these three. The three spinners are nowhere near to the level of last term.
Collectively, they have conceded over eight runs per over. That’s just unacceptable from players where so much is invested on them.
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Kuldeep, in particular, has struggled with no rhythm in his game. He looks tired and out of ideas. On Friday, Moeen Ali dismissed him to all parts of the ground as he ended up conceding 59 runs.
KKR haven’t been able to close out games and it is the lack of zeal at the death.
Teams have targeted KKR on most occasions at the final phase and the ploy has worked. Also, the lack of wickets have hurt them.
Strangely, the spinners haven’t worked well as a team and too many easy deliveries are the root cause of being in a place they are. One decent ball is followed by two or three bad ones.
The pace battery has been awful. Krishna has bagged just two wickets in nine games. His economy rate is above nine. Lockie Ferguson (2 wickets) has conceded above 10 runs in over across five matches. That’s been terrible. The issue is mainly at the death overs where KKR bowlers have leaked the runs.
The management needs to be bold enough to change the resources and get in fresh faces. Perhaps, this will serve as the best gamble in this pivotal part of the season. Otherwise, things could be similar for KKR in terms of production.