Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCollum revealed that opener Venkatesh Air was scheduled to play the eighth game of the franchise in India during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. However, fate had other plans, as the tournament was postponed due to the Covid pandemic. -19 before the match takes place.

Ayer eventually made his UAE match debut, scoring a refreshing 41 rather than 27 goal against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Abu Dhabi. The 26-year-old has gone from strength to strength, finishing IPL 2021 with 370 points in ten matches with a strike rate of 128.47.

The left-handed scored half a century in the final against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday. But that wasn’t enough to stop KKR From collapse to 27 strokes. Speaking about his decision to play for Ayer this season, McCollum said in a post-match conference:

“Venkatesh Ayer was an incredible story. Looking back, he was actually going to play the next match when we were in India. Funny way, the break came at a good time too. It gave him a chance to have another two months of cricket under his belt, to understand That his chances weren’t too far off.”

Praising Iyer as a special talent, the KKR coach admitted that the left’s aggressive intent at the top was key to the franchise’s astonishing turnaround in fortunes in the UAE. McCollum said:

“For him, it was about bringing the game that he owns — Venkatesh Iyer’s game plan — to the table, an aggressive intent. He’s a big presence. He’s a tall guy. He plays the game with a kind of snooty. It’s very important that he sticks to that.”

“He will be challenged to change his ways at times too. He may not necessarily be the most consistent due to his brilliance. I hope he remains the Venkatesh Ayer that we have seen so far. He has a tremendous future in this game, and he is a very smart guy. He has been a huge catalyst for our transformation this season.” .

Ayer and Schopman Jill (51) added 91 to the opening wicket against CSK in the final. However, once Iyer died, the KKR faltered to 165 for 9 in a grueling chase of 193.


“We weren’t able to make a real impact with our mid-level players” – KKR coach

KKR openers Iyer and Gill (478 in rounds) put in a great team performance. Rahul Tripathi (397) also made valuable contributions. However, the middle and lower systems failed to contribute much, which is the reason why KKR experienced many pitched collapses.

When asked if middle-ranking problems affected KKR’s chances during the tournament, McCollum answered in the affirmative, saying:

I think it is a fair evaluation. Our bowling set did a really good job. We played really well and the high-level batting was great. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the real effect through our mid-level players. There’s a lot of experience out there, and they’ll be the first to admit they haven’t had the best tournaments. Unfortunately, it happened among all (speculators) of the middle system.”

KKR captain Eoin Morgan had a disastrous experience at the IPL 2021, managing 133 runs in 17 matches with a strike rate of 95.68. Dinesh Karthik also had a bad tournament, contributing 223 runs in 17 matches.


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