IPL 2021: Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer starred in KKR’s dominating win over Mumbai Indians.
Former West Indies pacer Ian Bishop feels the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have imbibed the spirit of their head coach Brendon McCullum during the COVID-19-enforced break in IPL 2021. KKR registered a thumping seven-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians (MI) on Thursday to keep their winning momentum intact in the UAE leg.
KKR struggled in the first half of IPL 2021 with just two wins in seven matches before the tournament was suspended due to COVID-19 concerns. However, the Kolkata-based franchise have won both their matches in commanding fashion since the tournament resumed in the UAE.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Ian Bishop said regarding KKR’s improved form:
“I was tweeting that during the interval after the first half, there seems to have been a religious experience that has taken place where the spirit of McCullum has been imbibed by the rest of the team. That’s exactly how [Eoin] Morgan and McCullum would have wanted the team to play, it’s exactly how those guys played the game.”
“If they continue doing this for the rest of the games and qualify and do well in the IPL, then a lot of the philosophies, including part of my philosophy on how the game is played, will have to be adjusted.”
Before thrashing the MI by seven wickets and nearly five overs to spare while chasing 156, KKR had beaten Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by nine wickets after bowling Virat Kohli’s team out for 92.
KKR are now fourth in the IPL 2021 table and are firmly in the race for a top-four finish.
Ian Bishop heaps praise on KKR’s new star Venkatesh Iyer
Venkatesh Iyer, who scored an unbeaten 41 off 27 deliveries on his KKR debut against RCB, put in yet another fine performance on Thursday.
Iyer got off to a blistering start and along with Rahul Tripathi, he took the game away from five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians.
Iyer hit four boundaries and three sixes during his 30-ball 53 knock before eventually being dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah. But by the time he left the crease, KKR had effectively won the match.
Ian Bishop praised the KKR management for giving Iyer the freedom to go out and play the way he wants while also complimenting the left-handed batsman’s skills.
The former Windies pacer explained:
“You’ve got to give the management staff great credit for giving a guy confidence to go and play that way. The intent is one thing, but having the ability to go out there and carry it out is another aspect of it that is sometimes overlooked. It’s amazing that he’s been sort of hidden away in domestic cricket up until now.”
Although Iyer stole the limelight with his maiden IPL half-century, it was Tripathi who top-scored for KKR with his unbeaten 42-ball 74, a knock studded with eight fours and three maximums.