KKR’s Shubman Gill, who struck an aggressive 57 versus KXIP on Monday, revealed that his role, in general, is to anchor the innings but there was a conscious plan yesterday to show intent from ball one. Gill further rued the loss of wickets and admitted that KKR could have done better in the middle.
Kolkata Knight Riders, on Monday, tumbled to their sixth loss of the season and what ensued in Sharjah, for the most part, was a familiar sight. Not for the first time this season, the side were pegged back by the loss of early wickets and before they knew, Punjab had reduced the Knight Riders to 10/3. What was not familiar, and was a sight for sore eyes, was the attacking approach of Shubman Gill.
Under-fire for his strike rate in the competition, Gill took the criticism to heart and came out with an aggressive approach in Sharjah. Unflinched by the loss of wickets at the other end, the youngster showcased an impressive, positive style of batting and raced off to 44* off just 28 before having to slow down to arrest a second collapse in the innings.
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Gill revealed that his usual role is to play anchor, but he walked in with a conscious, positive attitude on Monday to take the bowling on.
“The plan was to show intent. If we were going to get the ball in our area, we were going to hit. That was the strategy,” Gill said in the press conference.
“If there are no wickets falling, it’s my role to anchor the innings and play 15-20 overs. I try to make the whole game shift around myself.”
KKR had one great and two disastrous phases with the bat as while they did remarkably well to counterpunch Punjab up-front, courtesy Gill and Morgan, an uninspiring showing in the final 10 overs meant that 149 was all they managed, despite being 92/4 at the half-way mark. GIll revealed that he felt KKR were 20 runs short and did not do enough to rotate strike in the middle overs.
“I think it wasn’t just our day, for the batsmen. They came in and they got wickets early, through some good balls. In the middle overs we were still going well, in 9 overs we were some 90/3, and after Morgan’s wicket we lost momentum.
“I think we were 15-20 runs short. In the middle overs we weren’t able to rotate strike. If we’d have done that, we’d have gotten 20-25 runs more.”
With just two games left, KKR’s fate, thanks to their NRR, is out of their own hands. The loss on Monday makes their last two encounters versus RR and CSK do-or-die contests, but Gill expressed that he was confident that his side will make it through to the next round.
“We still have 2 matches to go. We are pretty confident that we will be able to qualify for the playoffs.”