Eoin Morgan credits Brendon McCullum: The captain of Kolkata Knight Riders credited their coach for including a debutant in the UAE leg.
Although Kolkata Knight Riders have entered Indian Premier League 2021 final, they wouldn’t want the manner in which they became part of a batting collapse go unaddressed before they travel to Dubai for the last match of the season.
Needing to score just 13 runs in the last four overs with eight wickets in hand to seal a 136-run chase tonight, it took Knight Riders 22 balls and five more wickets to score the required number of runs. Had it not been for Rahul Tripathi’s six off Ravichandran Ashwin, Kolkata were on the verge of getting knocked out at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
“We will dissect what happened in the last four overs. The openers gave us a great platform. But we have won and we are in the finals. Dew came in and all, but hey, we are delighted to get over the line. We are in the entertainment business and need to play some entertaining cricket [laughs],” Morgan was quoted as saying by Star Sports during the post-match presentation ceremony.
Eoin Morgan credits Brendon McCullum for revealing Venkatesh Iyer in IPL 2021 Phase 2
Morgan, 35, admitted that the odds were against them after they lost six wickets for seven runs to give away all advantages gifted to them by opening batters Shubman Gill (46) and Venkatesh Iyer (55) on the back of a 96-run opening stand.
“Would’ve loved to win convincingly but [Delhi] Capitals are a very good side. Six off two, the odds were probably in favour of the bowling side but Rahul Tripathi has done superbly well for us. It’s a nice insight into our team culture – the young guys coming in feel free to express themselves. The backroom staff have created an environment for them to do this,” Morgan added.
Iyer, 26, who won his first IPL ‘Man of the Match‘ award for scoring his third half-century in the tournament, has been nothing short of a revelation for Kolkata.
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) October 13, 2021
Having made his debut in the UAE leg, Iyer has scored 320 runs in nine innings at an average and strike rate of 40 and 125 respectively. Knight Riders, who were used to play an Indian batter at No. 7 for all these years, have reaped substantial rewards due to this “masterstroke”.
“Venky [Venkatesh] Iyer idea came from the coach [Brendon McCullum]. My god, he’s a terrific player. Made the chase easy, looks like he was batting on a different wicket,” Morgan credited former New Zealand captain and current KKR coach for revealing Iyer to the world in IPL 2021 Phase 2.