A 10-run victory over Chennai Super Kings gave Kolkata Knight Riders their third win of IPL 2020. It propelled them to third on the IPL points-table, next to table-toppers Mumbai Indians, followed by Delhi Capitals at second. The chief architect of the win was batsman Rahul Tripathi, who was promoted to open the batting for the team. Tripathi top-scored for KKR with 81, a knock that lifted the total to 167, in reply to which CSK fell short by 10 runs.
After the match, KKR captain Dinesh Karthik had nothing but good words about Tripathi, explaining how the presence of some wonderful batsmen offers them tremendous balance in the line-up.
“Our batting is very fluid. I started at 3, I am batting at 7. That is the good thing. Over the years, fluid line-ups have done better. The way they batted at the start they did really well, but at the back end I had great faith in Sunny and Varun. That paid off for me,” Karthik said
Karthik also stressed on the importance of backing under-fire performers such as Sunil Narine. In fact, it was Narine whom Tripathi replaced as opener. In the previous matches, Narine had scores of 9, 0, 15 and 3, highlighting a bad season with the bat for the West Indies all-rounder. Even with the ball, Narine hasn’t come close to his threatening best with figures of 1/22, 0/31, 1/40, 0/26.
On Wednesday, KKR sent Narine at No. 4 but he could only score 17 off nine balls. With the ball, Narine returned 1/31. While Narine hasn’t been as effective as one would expect him to be, Karthik said it’s important to back him and stated how not much should be read into two-three poor games.
“There are some key players. Sunil Narine is one of us. The least we can do is back him. I am really proud of him as a player. We thought we will ease Sunny’s pressure a little bit and send Rahul up,” the KKR skipper said.