Knight Riders’ Powerplay problem persists

Going into IPL-15, Kolkata Knight Riders had one of the most balanced squads, with quality internationals, talented domestic players and a number of proven match winners in the T20 format. It’s quite a surprise therefore to see them in the bottom half of the table with slim hopes of making the play-offs.

And one of the major factors that have contributed to KKR’s failure is their performance in the Powerplay overs with both bat and ball. They have struggled to get a good start throughout the tournament, and Saturday’s outing at the MCA Stadium here against Lucknow Super Giants was no different. 

Poor start

In a chase of 177, KKR were reduced to 25 for three by the end of Powerplay. At 6.53, KKR have the worst run-rate in the Powerplay among the 10 teams in this tournament. And at 23, they have lost the most number of wickets in the Powerplay overs, averaging more than two wickets per game. These two are clearly interlinked and are costing the Shreyas Iyer-led outfit a lot.

On Saturday, it took KKR nine balls to get off the mark, the most by a team this season. They have not only struggled to score big without losing wickets in the first six overs, they have also struggled to rotate the strike, probably due the pressure of those early wickets. Out of the 396 balls faced by the KKR batsmen in the Powerplay overs in 11 games, 201 have been dots, that’s over 50 per cent.

Five opening combos

KKR have tried five opening combinations in 11 games, but none has been able to give them a 50-plus stand. Meanwhile, KKR’s bowlers have had an economy of 8.18 in the Powerplay, the worst among 10 teams. The KKR bowlers have conceded 57 fours and 20 sixes in the Powerplay, the number of sixes conceded being the highest among all teams.

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