Kolkata Knight Riders kick-started their latest Indian Premier League season with a win in their first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. David Warner won the toss and elected to bowl first in the spinner’s favouring track of MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. To everyone’s surprise, KKR’s batsman didn’t succumb to the pressure of high-end SRH bowlers like Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the Nitish Rana-inspired team went on to score a massive total of 187 in the first innings.
IPL 2021: Aakash Chopra Questions Manish Pandey’s Intensity
SRH started off their run-chase on a poor note as they lost their openers- Warner (3) and Saha (7)- very cheaply. Manish Pandey (61*) and Jonny Bairstow (55) got the game back on track for SRH. The duo amassed a partnership of 92 runs before Bairstow got out in the 13th over. Manish Pandey was seen fighting till the end but failed to carry his team to the finishing point.
Unbeaten fifty from @im_manishpandey 👏👏
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) April 11, 2021
Former Indian cricketer and cricket expert Aakash Chopra believes that Pandey fell a bit short while moving along the intensity of the game. Pandey wanted to take the game till the end which ceased him from taking any huge risks. Chopra, however, reckons that Pandey should have eyed for the total since the start.
“There was a partnership between Manish Pandey and Bairstow. Bairstow played very well, he justified his selection, but if you leave out the last-ball six, Pandey went at a strike rate of 127, which is not ideal when you are trying to chase down a huge total,” Chopra was quoted as saying on his YouTube channel.
“But it was just the first match. If you score runs in the first match, it means the season can be good. He is an important member of this team. So, the start has been good, he will get confidence from this fifty and because of that will score more runs going ahead,” Chopra added.