What went wrong with KKR?
KKR Hits & Misses in TATA IPL 2023, What went wrong with KKR, Reasons Behind KKR Failure this Season, What Kolkata Knight Riders can improve for next year, What happened to Kolkata Knight Riders in TATA IPL 2023?
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It wasn’t the greatest of tournaments for the Kolkata Knight Riders this season. But they will be quietly pleased with the way the side played this year. KKR apart from the two consecutive wins in the first three games never looked threatening to hunt down the points table. They finished with 12 points in 14 games to end in the seventh position. For a second year in running, KKR failed to make the playoffs after the surprising high of 2021.
The pre-tournament expectations:
Kolkata Knight Riders suffered a big blow before the start of the tournament as their regular captain Shreyas Iyer was ruled out owing to injury. There was little clarity over who would lead the side in his absence. Nitish Rana was handed over the reins a few days ahead of the season.
KKR it seemed made certain ambiguous trades ahead of the auction. They bought Shardul Thakur and Lockie Ferguson for a huge sum. The fans especially had their expectations in check given how the activities preceding the tournament took shape. Let us look into details at What went wrong with KKR?
What were the hits for KKR?
#1 Rinku Singh
He was the single biggest positive for KKR this season. Rinku Singh had shown enough glimpses of his ability in a couple of games last season. But he came into his own in IPL 2023. Rinku’s claim of fame for eternity will remain his five sixes off the last five balls against GT. Much like how everyone had written KKR off, Rinku’s career has pretty much played along the same lines. He finished the season as the ninth-highest run-getter in the league stage.
#2 Nitish Rana
It was imperative that Nitish Rana stepped as not just a batter but also as a leader this season. Rana played his part despite the limelight not falling squarely on him. He played important parts in partnerships that kept KKR alive in close games. Rana’s inexperience did come to the fore at times but he retained his cool for large parts of the tournament. KKR will be happy with what they saw of Rana, the leader, and the side’s premier batter.
#3 Varun Chakravarthy
The mystery spinner was back in his elements this season. Varun Chakravarthy was the standout KKR bowler in IPL 2023. His spell of 4-15 against RCB at Eden was one of their tournament highlights. Chakravarthy also bowled KKR to victory in the final over thriller against SRH. His return to form augurs well for KKR in the future.
What were the misses For KKR?
#1 The failure of their senior overseas stars
KKR is synonymous with Andre Russell and Sunil Narine. The pair has won the MVP twice each. They can be safely regarded as KKR legends. But both the veterans had a dismal tournament. Russell played one match-winning hand against PBKS but that was about it. Narine started clicking in the business end of the tournament but that proved too little too late. Their lack of contributions hurt KKR severely.
#2 The auction strategy and trade buys
KKR’s auction strategy for two years in running has been questionable. They don’t have enough quality backups who could feature in a starting XI. As the tournament is now ten-team strong, it is difficult to source talent season after season. KKR missed a trick or two in the lead-up to the tournament.
What’s in store for them next season?
KKR needs to ask themselves certain tough questions. The likes of Russell and Narine aren’t getting any younger. Do they want to persist with them will be a big decision going forward. The young talent on the side rose up on many occasions. It might be a subtle hint of change that the franchise might need to take if they are to stay relevant in the ever-evolving format.