Chahal’s final over turned the contest around (PC: IPLT20.com)
Former Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha believes that Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) should have comfortably won their contest against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Monday, April 18. The two-time winners fell short by seven runs to register their third loss in a row in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.
KKR were on top of the required run rate for the majority of the run chase. With Shreyas Iyer well-set at one end, the chasing side were primed to win the contest. However, a hat-trick by Yuzvendra Chahal dented KKR’s chances of snapping their losing streak.
Opining that Shreyas Iyer should have made the most of his good touch, Ojha said on Cricbuzz:
“Big players always make great use of their good days. Buttler scored 50, then made sure that he got another 50. Iyer could not take it to the next level. At one stage it was looking like KKR will win the game with more than an over to spare. Losing from such a position, it will hurt for sure.”
Iyer ended up being Chahal’s third wicket in the 17th over. The KKR skipper made 85 off 51 deliveries with seven fours and four sixes at Brabourne.
Royals spin duo R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal were at the helm of RR’s win. While Chahal picked up his first fifer, Ashwin picked up the crucial wicket of Russell. He bamboozled the Caribbean ace with a carrom ball and removed him for a duck.
Reserving praise for Samson for the way he utilized the spinners, Ojha added:
“Iyer and Finch are good players of spin, so after Finch got out, Samson brought on spin from both ends. So, that was very good captaincy from Samson, full credit to him. The way Iyer was batting, he should have scored more, the conditions were in his favor.”
Chahal finished with figures of 5-40 to extend his wicket tally to 17. Ashwin chipped in with a spell of 1-38 from the other end.
“I would probably look at the KKR bowling attack” – Ajay Jadeja on lessons for KKR
The KKR bowling attack began the tournament on a bright note. However, Umesh Yadav and Varun Chakravarthy’s form is beginning to fade and Pat Cummins has had a poor start to the season. The Kolkata side’s bowling attack is now a concern, especially since their switch to Brabourne.
Assessing what lessons the losing side should take from this defeat, Jadeja said:
“They are a team that makes minute changes here and there and that is fine, there is no right or wrong here. I would say tough game, chasing 217 is a huge deal, so I would probably look at their bowling attack. Look at Chakravarthy for instance, we have been talking about him for the last three games. You need someone alongside Narine, if that does not work you will always have to move towards Russell with the ball.”
Following their third defeat in a row, the franchise are now sixth in the points table. The Shreyas Iyer-led side will take on table-toppers Gujarat Titans on April 23 (Saturday).