Kolkata Knight Riders, 2-time Indian Premier League champions, have lost 5 successive matches in the 2019 IPL and coach Jacques Kallis conceded his players are frustrated.
KKR had lost won a game this season against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on April 7. They have since lost twice to Chennai Super Kings, once to Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
As many as 3 of those five defeats have come at their fortress – Eden Gardens. On April 19, Virat Kohli and Moeen Ali shocked the Knight Riders with their brutal assault. With 8 points from 10 matches, KKR are now 6th in the points table but they still have a chance to make it to the play-offs.
Kallis said his men know they have no other option but to play good cricket in their remaining 4 games.
“I think the guys are frustrated. They do realize that we still have chance of qualifying and we’re just going to play some good cricket and I’ll say the longer we are in it in this format, there are little percentages that you need to improve in order to turn these things around and we’re not far off,” he explained.
Kolkata Knight Riders face a must-win situation in the 4 games hereon to make it to the last-4 without worrying about other factors. Jacques Kallis said winning 4 in a row was a task his team was upto.
“We’ve done it before. We have won 11 in a row… Certainly it’s possible and the guys will try hard both off the field and on the field. We will be up for the game, that’s for sure. It’s almost like there is no tomorrow for us now. Hopefully we can repeat that again this year,” he said.
After losing to Royal Challengers Bangalore, co-owner Shah Rukh Khan had said the least KKR could do for the marauding Andre Russell was to win a few games before the season ended.
Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) April 19, 2019
News agency PTI reported Khan had invited some of KKR’s top players to Mumbai but coach Jacques Kallis said he has not had the chance to speak with his boss since the players went to Mumbai.
“I have not chatted to him since the guys have been in Mumbai. In fact, I think DK went home for a day as well. So we will catch up tomorrow and have a debrief and plan away going forward again for the next game,” he said.
KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik was in good form in 2018 and his leadership was rated highly as the team made it to the play-offs. Selected in India’s World Cup squad, Karthik has struggled to impress in the2019 Indian Premier League and the 5 defeats on the trot has undoubtedly put him under pressure.
Dinesh Karthik returned to Chennai to spend some time at home and Kallis firmly brushed aside any suggestions the team was looking to sack him as captain.
“No. We haven’t discussed it, nor it been brought up. So now there’s been no talk about that,” Kallis said.
In 10 matches this year, Dinesh Karthik has scored 117 runs., a far cry from last year when he smashed 498 runs from 16 matches.
KKR next face Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens and it is a game they can little afford to lose. RR are 7th in the points table and lost their last game to Delhi Capitals but they have looked much better under new captain Steve Smith.