IPL 2020 review: Poor show by Russell, change in captaincy and a season of chaos for KKR
It was a stop-start campaign for Kolkata Knight Riders which ultimately flattered to deceive.
Karthik hands captaincy to Morgan
It is never a great sign when the captaincy changes hands in the middle of the season. After Kolkata Knight Riders were placed at the fourth spot with four wins and three losses from seven matches, Dinesh Karthik decided that Eoin Morgan would be the better man for the role.
It was not an ideal situation to be in for both Karthik and Morgan as there are reasons beyond just focusing on one's batting that lead captains to step down. For Morgan as well, it mustn't have been easy to be handed the reigns of a team that he couldn't call his own, as it were.
When something like this happens, there is a lot more going on behind the scenes than is visible to the naked eye.
Not the Russell we know
Andre Russell has been an absolute gem for Kolkata Knight Riders over the years. He was named the MVP in 2019 for his 510 runs from 14 matches at an average of 56.66 and a breathtaking strike rate of 204.81.
Russell won Kolkata at least four matches by dint of his sheer power-hitting last year. With the ball as well, he picked up 11 wickets from 14 games. However, the big man wasn't able to land punches with the frequency that he was expected to this year.
He struggled in his primary suit and managed just 117 runs from 10 matches at an ordinary average of 13 and a strike rate of 144. Russell was better with the ball, claiming 6 wickets, but couldn't make half the impact he did last year.
Narine beside the mark
Another Caribbean all-rounder who was named the MVP in 2018, Sunil Narine was also not at his best in the season. Although he did an okay job with the ball despite being called for suspect action, picking up 5 wickets from 10 matches at an economy of 7.94, his batting form fell off a cliff.
Narine could manage only 121 runs from 10 matches at an average of 13.4 and strike rate of 142.35. He was ultimately displaced from the top of the order.
Two guns that fired
If Russell and Narine were the two guns that misfired, the two guns that fired this season are Varun Chakravarthy and Eoin Morgan.
Varun Chakravarthy played his dream season as he finished as the top wicket taker for the franchise with 17 wickets from 13 matches at an average of 20.94 and an economy of under 6.5, picking up the only 5-wicket haul of IPL 2020. This brought a maiden India call-up for the mystery spinner.
Eoin Morgan, as expected, provided Kolkata with the impetus towards the end of the innings, scoring 418 runs from 14 matches at a strike rate of close to 140. If Morgan remains in charge for the entirety of the next season, the world class captain that he is, things are bound to get better for KKR.
Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan(c), Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik(wk), Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi
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