IPL 2017: 5 MASTERSTROKES that helped KKR tame SRH

IPL 2017, SRH v KKR: It was finally left to the captain Gautam Gambhir after KKR were reeling at 12 for 3 to see his side home

Kolkata Knight Riders were playing a crucial encounter against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Bengaluru for a spot in Eliminator 2. This was eliminator 1 and there were already predictions of rain playing spoilsport. So, that meant Gautam Gambhir and KKR had to be mindful of a lot of factors apart from cricket. It was a tricky evening at the MA Chinnaswamy. So, what were the reasons that helped the ‘beast of the east’ tame the defending champions.

Here are 5 MASTERSTROKES that played a crucial role. 

Win the toss, field first: Fielding first is something that is very predictable with Gautam Gambhir as captain. He feels comfortable chasing and knowing the target that has to be achieved. Gambhir was also mindful of the forecast at Bangaluru and hence opting to bowl first was his first masterstroke.

Short, short, short: Yes, that was the order of the day for the KKR bowlers. Nothing was pitched up, something that the SRH batsman thrive on, that made it uncomfortable for them who got stifled in a way and could never breakthrough. If you see Umesh Yadav’s bowling map there is nothing up. So this was a clear cut strategy that worked.

Using his resources well: When Umesh Yadav was bowling well, he persisted with him without taking him out. In fact Coulter-Nile, another new ball bowler came into bowl his first over in the 8th over of the innings. Coulter-Nile was surely Gambhir’s go-to man whenever they needed to stem the flow of runs or get a wicket. Narine too was used judiciously. Pathan was used for a over and taken off, giving clear signals that if you err you are out.

No Narine on top: The rain was frustrating you could see fans tensed and not ready to leave the field. Finally when the game started, KKR needed 48 of 6 overs and Narine was not sent in to open instead Robin Uthappa came in to bat. The thought probably was that if the ball swings Narine may waste balls hence get a proper batsman in who can also clear the ground with ease. Then he also dropped himself, sent Pathan in at 3, the idea was to get as many as possible in the two overs powerplay, well that did not work well but you could see Gambhir was thinking.

Gambhir anchors: It was finally left to the captain Gautam Gambhir after KKR were reeling at 12 for 3 to see his side home. He dropped anchor, initially rotated the strike but as and when he got the opportunity he put away the loose balls with ease and that helped.

Now, the first hurdle is breached, KKR will now lock-horns with old nemesis Mumbai Indians, against whom they do not have a pleasant record and hence Gautam Gambhir would look to to rewrite history.