Skipper Morgan hails Iyer and KKR’s bowlers
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Eoin Morgan lavished praise on young opener Venkatesh Iyer, who scored a 30-ball 53 in the team’s seven-wicket win over defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
In reply to MI’s 155-6, KKR’s opening pair of Shubman Gill (13) and Iyer reached a quickfire 40-run opening stand in the first three overs of the Powerplay. Even after Gill’s departure Iyer showcased the same intent, putting on an 88-run stand with one-drop Rahul Tripathi (74 not out, 8×4, 3×6).
Iyer, 26, who was playing only his second IPL game, smashed three sixes and four fours, helping the team to victory with 29 balls to spare. England’s T20I skipper Morgan (7), who failed again (he has scored just 99 runs in his last eight IPL innings), appreciated Iyer’s fearless approach.
Also Read: KKR playing fearless and attacking cricket
“I think Venkatesh played an innings that would match a guy, who’s possibly played 50 IPL games. The freedom he has played with is commendable. It was quite imposing as a batsman at the top of the order to be able to do that,” Morgan said during the post-match press conference in reply to mid-day’s question on Iyer’s impact knock.
However, the Englishman felt that the real superstars are KKR’s bowlers, who restricted their opponents to reasonable totals in the last two matches. Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy (3-13) and all-rounder Andre Russell (3-9) bowled superbly, to first bundle out Royal Challengers Bangalore for a meagre 92 on Monday. Then, in the last game against MI, pacers Lockie Ferguson and Prasidh Krishna bagged two wickets each, while Sunil Narine got MI skipper Rohit Sharma’s wicket when he was looking dangerous on 33.
“I don’t think it’s just one player that’s changed the outlook of the team. I think in the last two games, the superstars in our side have been the bowlers. They have been outstanding on some really good wickets to bat on here at Abu Dhabi. I think that has allowed our opening pair of Gill and Iyer to go out and
play their natural game,” Morgan added.
Also Read: KKR`s Venkatesh Iyer wants to replicate Sourav Ganguly`s batting style
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