Eoin Morgan, the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders has revealed that it was indeed coach Brendon McCullum’s idea to bat Sunil Narine ahead of Morgan and Pat Cummins.
Sunil Narine came in at the score of 42/3 in the eighth over. The move was a bit surprising as Morgan has been in good form this season. However, the move paid off for KKR, as Narine along with Nitish Rana took charge against the spinners of the Delhi Capitals. With two left-handers in, Axar Patel bowled just one over, and Ravichandran Ashwin was taken for 45 runs in his 3 overs.
The two left-handers along with some late blitz from Eoin Morgan took KKR to a total of 194/6 which turned out to be a match-winning score. Three wickets for Pat Cummins and a maiden IPL five-for for Varun Chakravarthy meant the Capitals could only manage 135 in 20 overs.
The decision to bat Narine there is all from the coach: Eoin Morgan
Sunil Narine with the help of 6 fours and 4 sixes scored a quickfire 64 from 32 balls. He along with the Nitish Rana, who was opening for a change, bailed out KKR after another disappointing start where they lost 3 wickets for 42 runs. Captain Morgan was happy to have Narine back in the team, especially in the absence of star all-rounder, Andre Russell. Morgan revealed that the decision to bat Narine ahead of him was taken by head coach, Brendon McCullum.
“We had had a nice couple of days to reflect on things. In such a compact tournament, it can be easy to get caught up. Great of Sunil to come back and play as a proper all-rounder. And Nitish Rana and him adding all the runs. The decision to bat Narine there is all from the coach. He likes to play his cards. It is all Brendon.”, said Eoin Morgan in the post-match press conference
Eoin Morgan post their 59-run-victory talked about the mercurial nature of the tournament. He said they need to have a long batting order, and that’s why he was shifted down the order. The left-hander also praised their mystery spinner, Varun Chakravarthy for his performance not only yesterday but also in the entire tournament.
“Given the nature of the tournament, it is not a tournament where sides get 100 in top 10. You need a longer batting line-up than a strong one. That is why I am batting lower. Varun is such a humble guy. he just goes about his work. Throughout the tournament, he has been our standout performer,” Eoin Morgan added.
With their victory over DC, Morgan’s team is positioned at the fourth spot in the points table with 12 points in their account and three games remaining – they still have their fate in their own hands. They will take on Kings XI Punjab -who themselves are coming off a motivating win over Hyderabad – on Monday in Sharjah.