Former India opener Virender Sehwag said Kolkata Knight Riders opener Shubman Gill needs to attack a bit more in the powerplay or else slide down in the batting order for the remaining matches in the IPL.
Gill is KKR’s highest run-scorer this season with 275 runs in 8 matches but his strike rate of 116.52 is the lowest among players who have scored more than 200 runs this season.
“Shubman Gill has had many opportunities and now the time has come for KKR to tell him to be a bit more aggressive in the powerplay and if can’t, bring him down in the batting order and send someone else up. If you are to win, the start needs to be good. If the foundation is not laid properly, you can’t build a solid innings on it,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz after KKR were handed a crushing 8-wicket defeat by Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi.
KKR went through a sea of changes but none bigger than Eoin Morgan taking of as captain from Dinesh Karthik after the latter decided to concentrate more on his batting.
There was, however, very little change in KKR’s fortunes as they succumbed to their second defeat of the season to the defending champions Mumbai Indians.
Sehwag said KKR need to identify a group of players and give them the freedom to play freely for the remainder of the tournament.
“It is very important for a captain to understand what his team did wrong and what the team did right. There are always positives to take out from a game, which is what KKR need to do. The team management is required to decide on the 13 players that they want to focus on and rotate in the next 6 games (in the league stage) and back them to do the job,” said Sehwag.
The former India opener added that KKR are currently looking like a ‘bits and pieces’ team.
“They need to make a strong combination and give the players the freedom to play their own game. Right now, KKR looks like a ‘bits and pieces team’ where their performances depend on one or two players working out. The team needs to follow the orders and mindset of one leader which is not happening at present,” Sehwag added.
KKR, who have 8 points with four wins and fours losses, next face Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday.