Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra feels that the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) should sack Eoin Morgan as captain of the team and drop him for someone like Shakib Al Hasan as the Englishman is woefully out of form with the bat.
In 12 games so far this season, Morgan is averaging 10.90 while striking at 100.93; he has crossed the single-digit only twice and has scored 17 runs in the UAE leg.
Aakash Chopra cited the example of former KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir who had volunteered to drop himself when he was struggling for runs in 2014.
“Kolkata, I request you with folded hands: I am giving you two or three options. Firstly, change the captain, you have done it before and there’s no shame in it. I was talking to Gautam recently.
“He talked about the 2014 season, saying he couldn’t score any runs in the first three games so he went to the coach and said, ‘I am not able to do it, let me just sit out because I am not contributing’,” Aakash Chopra said in his YouTube video.
The 44-year-old commentator asserted that Morgan hasn’t been taking “any great decisions in captaincy in your team selections” either. So, he believes, it’d be better for KKR to include the Bangladesh all-rounder for Morgan.
“Morgan would have thought the same because it’s been 11 innings and he’s averaging 10. We are not seeing any great decisions in captaincy in your team selections and all of that either. So maybe it’s time to bring Shakib Al Hasan in place of Morgan,” he added.
Please see how many bowlers there are: Aakash Chopra
Criticising further on KKR’s selection, Aakash Chopra highlighted that Venkatesh Iyer could not be used as a fifth bowler. This tactic backfired against Punjab Kings as KKR went for an extra batting cushion in Tim Seifert over Shakib and Ben Cutting.
“You can’t play Seifert if you are not getting him to bat in the top-order. So replace him with Ben Cutting. Do something because you don’t have Lockie so you’ve got to have at least five bowlers. Five bowlers plus Venkatesh Iyer is alright but four bowlers plus Venkatesh Iyer? It just doesn’t make sense my friend. I honestly don’t get how you can expect so much from him. He’s doing well but he is not Superman.”
The former KKR batsman reiterated that the injured Andre Russell need to be replaced with an all-rounder and not a pure batsman. KKR played extra batsman as Morgan hasn’t been amongst runs.
“When you write those names on the sheet, please see how many bowlers there are because there’s no point in playing this much batting. You said you don’t have the balance without Russell but you also said that there’s a specific role for Ben Cutting.
“There won’t be a better role than this. At least play him if you don’t like Shakib. In fact, play Shakib too and tell Eoin Morgan, ‘it’s not working out’. It happens to everyone… but tends to hurt a little more if it’s an overseas captain,” Aakash Chopra concluded.
Kolkata Knight Riders will take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday evening.