The overnight change in leadership in the Kolkata Knight Riders’s (KKR) set-up did little to stem their haemorrhage. The new KKR skipper, the reigning World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, said at the toss that the change had taken place amicably, and that former captain Dinesh Karthik had the bigger picture in mind. On the Abu Dhabi field and against Mumbai Indians (MI), however, the passing of the baton did not unfold quite as well.
At the fall of KKR opener, and season’s top-scorer, Shubman Gill’s wicket, in walked the new captain and joined the old captain in the middle. First ball of this moment of past and future meeting in the present, Karthik dragged leggie Rahul Chahar on to his stumps and left the side reeling at 43/4 after eight overs. Finding salvation was now wholly on Morgan’s shoulders.
In his capacity as a wicketkeeper, de Kock had dropped Cummins on 36 and spent the rest of the innings watching the Australian make the chance count. So, when de Kock was returned the favour by Varun Chakravarthy when on 16, he emptied out his frustrations on the white ball. Pacer Prasidh Krishna was assaulted for 16 runs in the 8th. Then, Russell felt the heat too, clobbered for 12 runs in the 9th by the South African gloveman, who in turn reached his third and best fifty in the last four games.
The winning runs, struck by a fluent Hardik Pandya, were hit only in the 18th over. But the result was assured a lot earlier.