Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum has stated that his team can set things right in the second phase of the IPL that begins on September 19. McCullum feels if his side begins well, their outside chances of making it to the playoff stage might become a reality.
The Kolkata franchise will be led by Eoin Morgan in the remainder of the league. The team had a terrible first half, winning just two out of the seven games played. They sit in 7th place and the squad pretty much needs a miracle in order to progress past the group stage.
“In regards to the tournament which is upcoming, we can end it right. We can take the game on and we’re in a situation where we need things to go our way.”
“We need to hit the ground running, challenge one another privately, support one another publicly and try and get the best out of one another in the next 4-5 weeks. Who knows where we can go with this?” McCullum was quoted as saying on the KKR website.
“Hopefully we can go out there and try and enjoy ourselves” – Brendon McCullum
KKR has come under heavy criticism following their performance in the first half. Their batting was in shambles, with the openers Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana not having the best of times. Brendon McCullum hopes he can ease up his squad so they can play an aggressive brand of cricket he’s been yearning for.
“I wasn’t able to free the guys up enough to understand that and that’s sort of a challenge for me. But it is also a good challenge for the guys as well that they need to push the envelope of their own thinking as well. Hopefully, we will be able to strip away a bit of the angst which had built up in the first part of the season, just go out there and try and enjoy ourselves,” he added.
During his playing career, the Kiwi opener was known for his fearless approach. It didn’t matter which format he played, taking the bowlers on was his natural style. When he departs KKR, McCullum wants the side to have an identity of its own similar to what he had.
“When we left India (after IPL was postponed due to the Covid outbreak), I think everyone understood me as a coach on how I want our team to play. I am unapologetic about that as well because my job is to try and build something at KKR that is going to last far longer than I am going to last for the franchise,” he concluded.
KKR begins its campaign with a game against Virat Kohli-led RCB on September 20 in Abu Dhabi.