21 October 2020 14:43
Lockie Ferguson's has been simply the most impressive bowling performance this season. Playing his first match, he had figures of 3-15 from his four overs in regulation time, then claimed two more in the Super Over, including that of danger man David Warner. The only word which describes Ferguson's bowling in the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad is 'incredible'. And this is necessarily followed by the query: Why were the Kolkata Knight Riders hiding him for so long? What's pertinent is that after Ferguson inspired a tremendous win over the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders look a settled, rather than confused side.
So far they were lacking in wicket-taking pace power, what with Pat Cummins unable to strike blows whether bowling first up or in the death, and Andre Russell coming up with niggles almost every time he marked his run up. If KKR are to bring in Sunil Narine, what with pitches showing more scope for slow bowlers, it might come down to a choice between Cummins and Russell for a place in the side. This is no doubt a quandary for captain Eoin Morgan. But Russell hasn't looked destructive at all with the bat this season. Cummins in fact has scored more runs than him, and at a fair clip, which may just settle the issue in his favour if KKR want to play Narine. The two teams are placed third and fourth in the points table, but a defeat for the Royal Challengers Bangalore could not only see them slide below KKR, but also open up avenues for teams placed between fifth to eighth positions to play catch up. On the face of it, RCB's 12 points suggest consistency, but some of the victories have been very close for comfort: as in the previous match against the Rajasthan Royals where only the genius of AB de Villiers saved them from certain defeat. That can't make for sustained success. Virat Kohli, Chris Morris and Yuzvendra Chahal - along with youngsters Devdutt Padikkal and Washington Sundar - have been in good form, which has served them well so far. But against a rejuvenated KKR, Virat Kohli has to be at the top of his game as a batsman and harness his recourses adroitly as a captain to thwart the opposition. By Ayaz Memon