It was a surprising move by Eoin Morgan, the Kolkata Knight Riders captain, that he didn’t give Varun Chakravarthy another over in his opening spell despite the spinner picking up the wickets of Virat Kohli and Rajat Patidar in his first over.
Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first, in Chennai on Sunday. The RCB skipper couldn’t last long, as Varun Chakravarthy got the better of him in the second over of the innings. The mystery spinner castled Patidar with a slider putting KKR was in a strong position early in the game.
However, to everyone’s surprise, Eoin Morgan didn’t continue with the spinner for his second over and instead introduced Shakib Al Hasan, who was immediately taken for runs by Glenn Maxwell. Varun Chakravarthy returned in the 7th over, but until then, Maxwell has settled in at 30 off 19 and attacked the Tamil Nadu spinner smashing a six and a four on the first couple of deliveries.
Eoin Morgan reveals that he had saved Varun Chakravarthy’s overs for AB de Villers at the later stage of the innings. He was brought on a straightaway when the South African arrived at the crease, but the spinner didn’t trouble de Villiers as he scored 12 runs off 7 balls from Chakravarthy.
“Probably not to be honest (on Varun not bowling again in Powerplay). Glenn Maxwell is a fine player, but he’s not the wrongly destructive player like we saw today. Having one or two overs up our sleeve to bowl to AB de Villiers, you obviously need to have that [option].
“Obviously, we have our strength and depth and every side in this competition as well. So, you need to have that plan past just one player,” Eoin Morgan elucidated in the post-match presentation.
We probably would have bowled Varun Chakravarthy in that next over when Maxwell came: Brendon McCullum
However, head coach Brendon McCullum would later admit that it was an error in decision making and that the 29-year-old spinner should have been continued for another over to Maxwell, who then made KKR pay big.
“In hindsight, if we had our time again, we probably would have bowled Varun in that next over when Maxwell came out. But look, we were also trying to save Varun’s overs for (AB) De Villiers as well for when he arrived at the crease. In retrospect, we probably should have bowled that over,” Brendon McCullum said.
Eoin Morgan’s side finished their Chennai leg with 1 win and 2 losses; they move to Mumbai and will face Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.