Kolkata Knight Riders (IPL) had a remarkable turnaround in the second leg of IPL. They came to UAE with grim chances of qualifying for the playoffs but put on a show, winning five of their seven games in the league stage, to secure a berth as the fourth-ranked team.
They will now face Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 2. Ahead of the important game, KKR is concerned about the fitness of Andre Russell. The all-rounder has not played for KKR since their league game against CSK where Russell picked up the hamstring injury.
Morgan revealed Russell has a Grade 2 hamstring injury and is doubtful for Qualifier 2. However, the skipper revealed Russell is working hard to get back to peak fitness. Morgan said a call on Russell’s inclusion will be taken on Tuesday, October 12.
“Andre has a Grade 2 hamstring tear, and it’s only been a couple of weeks since that injury. He has worked incredibly hard along with our medical team with intensive rehabilitation to try and get himself back on the park,” Morgan said in the post-match press conference.
“We only have 48 hours before the next game. So we’ll have to take that decision (on whether he is fit to play) based on how he presents himself tomorrow (Tuesday) and the next day,” he added.
The second leg of IPL saw KKR step on the park with a complete change in attitude. The team was a lot more positive and played fearless cricket. The likes of Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi has consistently put pressure on the opposition attack which has allowed KKR to dictate terms. Morgan credited coach Brendan McCullum for the team’s fearless attitude.
“In the first phase of the tournament, we were still trying to implement Buzz’s (Brendon McCullum) mantra of trying to play positive, aggressive cricket. In the first phase it didn’t quite happen,” said Morgan. “Throughout this second phase, people have turned up with a different motivation and drive to try and play the aggressive brand of cricket.”
“Our bowlers have shown us the way – how to be aggressive with the ball in trying to take wickets and identifying when to hold back and be a little bit more defensive. That’s led the way with our batting as well,” he signed off.