IPL 2023: KKR camp to treat remaining ties as ‘final’
Teetering at the lower end of the table at eighth position, the Knights camp is buoyed somewhat by their thin five-run win on the road against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last game
The blow-hot-blow-cold performance of Kolkata Knight Riders may have put their qualifying chances in the IPL 2023 in a spot, but the team believes in putting up a brave face. So are the diehard fans, though a forecast for thunderstorms may put a spanner in the works as they take on Punjab Kings at the Eden Gardens on Monday.
Teetering at the lower end of the table at eighth position (eight points from 10 matches), the Knights camp is buoyed somewhat by their thin five-run win on the road against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last game. However, they must win all their remaining four matches to be in with a chance – and the next two in their fortress offers them the best chance to hold onto the momentum.
‘’We have forgotten about the last game as every match is like a final for us from now on,’’ skipper Nitish Rana said in a video message for the fans. Rana also took heart from the way his mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy held his nerves in last over of the Sunrisers game: ‘’I was in a bit of dilemma about whom to give the last over between Varun and Shardul Thakur, as the latter also had a good day with the ball. Eventually, I went for Varun."
Shikhar Dhawan’s Punjab Kings, who are in seventh position with 10 points, will be keen to see that their good work earlier this season (they set the record of being the only team in the league to rake up 200-plus totals in four matches on the trot) does not go waste again.
A number of KKR batters, including senior campaigner Andre Russell, were seen honing their scoop-hitting skills at an optional net on Saturday – ostensibly to tackle the deadly yorkers of Arshdeep Singh at the death.
After Monday, KKR take on Rajasthan Royals at home next on Thursday and then hit the road to play Chennai Super Kings on May 14. They round off their league engagements at home this season against Lucknow Super Giants on May 20.
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