The 2015 edition of the Indian Premier League has been disappointing from Kolkata Knight Riders’ perspective. The loss to Rajasthan Royals meant that Gautam Gambhir and his men were not going to be defending their IPL crown.
That said, we take a look at what exactly went wrong at the Kolkata Knight Riders camp.
The first mistake: The Auction
Most do not realize, but the Knight Riders were architects of their own downfall as early as the IPL auction. One simply does not understand KKR’s obsession with ‘mystery spinners.’ It began with Ajantha Mendis, went into Sunil Narine and has now come down to KC Cariappa. With Sunil Narine undergoing tests for his bowling action, KC Cariappa barely featured in the lineup. Jimmy Neesham and 44-year old Brad Hogg were the only significant buys in the auction. Thus, the first mistake was failing to strengthen their squad while at the summit.
The curious case of the ‘Mystery Spinner’
As mentioned earlier, the Kolkata Knight Riders have an obsession with ‘mystery spinners.’ Left with little option, Brad Hogg was added to the squad. While nothing can break the spirit of the 44-year old, it was not such a good idea to bring him in. Kuldeep Yadav was collateral damage as Hogg played a significant role in KKR’s season.
Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey falter with the bat
Robin Uthappa has been a major disappointment for the Knight Riders this season. Last season saw Uthappa score a whopping 660 runs, a performance that saw him get picked for the Indian team. This season however, he has managed to bag just 360 odd runs. The lack of scores higher up the order was quite evident. Manish Pandey’s 94 in the previous season of the IPL saw the Kolkata Knight Riders clinch the IPL. This season, the KKR faithful have seen a few cameos from their star man.
Andre Russell’s performance with both bat and ball had been the silver lining for the Kolkata Knight Riders this season.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Time to rebuild?
Given their dismal performance this season, it is safe to say that the Knight Riders need to start afresh. The likes of Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan need to be given their marching orders as Wasim Akram, Trevor Bayliss and Co. look to rebuild a broken KKR unit.