Brendon McCullum was fear at the start of IPL
By Sangeeta Viswas
on Wed Sep 15 2021
Brendon McCullum was intimidated at the start of the IPL, winning just two of them in seven matches, and Kolkata Knight Riders are seventh on the list of eight in IPL 2021 as the second leg of the tournament begins in the UAE on September 19.
According to head coach Brendon McCullum, the poor start was because at times in those early games the players were “a bit of a fright” but he felt the two-time champion “could finish it right”.
McCullum told kkr.in, “In the event of the upcoming tournament [second half of IPL 2021], we may end it appropriately.” “We can move the game forward and we are in a position where we need things to go our way.
We need to hit the ground running, challenge each other privately, approve each other publicly and try and get the best out of each other in the next four-five weeks. Who knows where we might go with this.”
Knight Riders began their campaign with a ten-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, but then went on to lose four games in a row before coming back with a five-wicket win over Punjab Kings, before losing another to Delhi Capitals.
Most runs have gone down due to improper performances. Dinesh Karthik (123 runs at 30.75, strike rate 138.20), Andre Russell (163, 27.16 and 155.23) and Rahul Tripathi (187, 26.71 and 135.50) have been good with the bat, but captain Eoin Morgan has been poor, with just 92. runs in seven innings, and a strike rate of 112.19, while Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill, regulars at the top of the order, have not been able to play a single trick.
With the ball, Varun Chakraborty and Pat Cummins – the Aussie undefeated for the rest of the tournament – have been star performers, but the rest of the bowlers are not hard to get away from.
“There were times throughout the season when I felt like we were paralyzing out of fear,” McCullum said. “I wasn’t able to free people abundantly to understand this and that’s a challenge for me. But it’s also a good challenge for people that they need to push the envelope of their thinking as well.
“Hopefully we will be able to overcome the anger that was created in the first half of the season, just go out there and try and enjoy. That is the ambition I have for the franchise and hence why I am sorry and my faith That’s what we need to play a brave system of the game.”
McCullum, a Knight Riders player, oversaw the workload when the IPL began in 2008 – remember that innings – as head coach of the Kolkata franchise as well as Trinbago Knight Riders in 2020. While Trinbago won the CPL title in 2020.
At the end of a remarkable unbeaten run [they top the table and are in the semi-finals this season as well], the IPL team didn’t have it as well, failing to qualify for the playoffs. This season hasn’t been much better.
As far as Brendon McCullum is concerned, his concentration is on the bigger picture. “When we left India [in May], I think everyone understands me as a coach, how I want my team to play,” McCullum said.
“I’m also squeamish about it because my job at KKR is to try and create something that’s going to be long lasting for the franchise.”