Punjab Kings seized the key moments and deserved to beat Kolkata Knight Riders in their IPL 2021 contest on Friday, Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum said after his team’s five-wicket defeat.
“I thought we played another good game of cricket tonight (but) Punjab Kings deserved the win because they seized the key moments but we certainly played a hand and we really got a good game of cricket,” McCullum said at a virtual press conference.
Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan has not been among the runs, and the former New Zealand stumper expects some runs from him.
“Obviously, he (Morgan) is one of our senior players, he is one of our international batsmen and as captain as well in his own, he would love to contribute a lot more runs, actually he captains the side very well tactically, but look you want some more runs from (him), no doubt in that,” McCullum added.
“You need runs from your overseas players and you particularly need in those key spots as well. I am confident that he will come up (alright),” he said, adding that senior Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is also in the mix for selection.
McCullum admitted that it was difficult to balance the side without Andre Russell.
“In terms of the balance, when you take out a world-class all-rounder like Andre Russell, it is always difficult to balance your side,” he added.
K. L.’s ‘super innings’
Meanwhile, Punjab Kings bowling coach Damien Wright heaped praise on skipper Rahul for his crucial 67-run knock.
“Look, I thought his innings was super, we were quite attacking from the other end with K. L. and he played a real anchor role for us.
“I would have loved to see him there at the end, but I thought his innings tonight was super and he is such a class player,” Wright said.
Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh have shone for the Punjab Kings in the death overs this season and the bowling coach attributed their success to their training.
“Look, I would say, it is purely down to the way that they train and apply themselves. It’s been an area of our game that we have been strong at (bowling in the death) as we play here in Dubai, and I thought their last two overs were the difference in the game.
“Both of them work really hard and that’s just paying off. He (Shami) bowled beautifully tonight,” he said, adding that young spinner Ravi Bishnoi had been a huge inclusion in the squad.