Home > Features >

IPL 2014: Analytical perspective of Kolkata Knight Riders’ batting against pace and spin

Gautam Gambhir needs to fire for Kolkata Knight Riders when they play their games at Eden Gardens © IANS (File Photo)
Gautam Gambhir needs to fire for Kolkata Knight Riders when they play their games at Eden Gardens © IANS (File Photo)

With the United Arab Emirates (UAE) leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) coming to a close, all eyes will be on Ranchi where the dominant ‘home team’ Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will clash with the struggling Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Shiamak Unwalla examines how the fumbling Kolkata batting has fared against both spin and pace so far in IPL 7.

Much has been written about how Gautam Gambhir recorded a solitary run in his first four innings of IPL 7. But what is interesting is that each of Gambhir’s five dismissals have come against fast bowlers or medium pacers (calling Rajat Bhatia — who took his wicket in the last match — a medium pacer might be pushing the definition slightly, but for the sake of this argument, let’s call him one).  To be fair to Gambhir, at least two of those deliveries were absolute beauties. In the first match of IPL 7, Lasith ’Slinga’ Malinga castled the opener with an in-swinging yorker that would possibly have been as lethal, even if he was on 50. Against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Mitchell Starc had Gambhir out LBW for a golden duck. Again, it was a terrific late-swinging yorker that was too good to play first ball. His other two early dismissals came from a combination of carelessness and frustration.

Now, what is remarkable is that the rest of his side has followed a very similar trend of getting dismissed by pace bowlers rather than spinners. If we consider Kolkata’s setup, among the 35 wickets that have fallen, a staggering 27 have been to seamers! That means that a whopping 77 per cent of their dismissals have been to pace bowlers (and Rajat Bhatia).  Conversely, of the 32 wickets Kolkata have captured, 16 have been to spinners and 13 to seamers, while there have been three run outs. The comparison is stunning.

Kolkata will play all four of their home matches at Eden Gardens, which has traditionally favoured spinners. However, the dew factor also tends to play a role, so the advantage to the spinners could be somewhat negated later in the evening. With Sunil Narine — currently the purple cap holder — being in his usual good form, the Kolkata bowling will get a boost from playing at the Eden Gardens. It is their batting that will need to sort itself out.

One reason that Kolkata have lost so many wickets to the seamers could be that they were not able to adjust to the slightly two paced nature of the UAE wickets. This does not affect them in the middle overs, while all they need to do is knock the ball around. However, it has been a trend for them to lose a lot of wickets in the end overs, usually while trying to hit out against the pacers. This was especially true in their match against the Rajasthan Royals (RR), where James Faulkner ignited an implosion that took KKR from 137 for the loss of four wickets to 146 for eight and ended up tying a match they ought to have won comfortably.

KKR have recorded scores of 163 for five, 166 for five, 150 for seven, 109 all out, and 152 for eight in their five matches so far. Their own bowling has not been able to back them sufficiently. Playing in familiar home conditions might well help them to push past their opponents and progress in the tournament.

Click here for IPL 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Nottingham

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

No result

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Cardiff

India won by 133 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 26, 2014  at Hambantota

Sri Lanka won by 77 runs

Photos

Aaron Finch's record 156 vs England in T20I

Videos

Trent Bridge cricket ground: A small tour

Zimbabwe vs South Africa Live Cricket Score, 3rd ODI at Harare: South Africa win by 61 runs

England, take ODIs seriously if you want to win

Hiralal Gaekwad: the southpaw who lost out to Vinoo Mankad

Lord Ganesha XI: Eleven cricketers who were named after the elephant God

Suresh Raina’s new avatar on India’s tour of England 2014

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

Rajinikanth finds a fan in Ross Taylor!

Prosper Utseya’s hat-trick in vain as South Africa clinch 61 run victory against Zimbabwe in 3rd ODI

India tour of England 2014: Alex Hales wants to play Test cricket

Aditya Verma: Will oppose N Srinivasan or BCCI if AGM is delayed

Ian Botham rules out England’s chances of winning ICC World Cup 2015

Rilee Rossouw’s golden duck feat

Rohit Sharma’s injury gives Murali Vijay a new lease of life in ODI career

Prosper Utseya prospers for Zimbabwe

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Key clashes

National Sports Day: Cricket’s television revolution has inspired other sports

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

666 Posts | 6 Fans

12 runs in one ball

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon were spotted without wedding rings

Nokia’s HERE maps brings offline turn-by-turn navigation to Samsung’s Tizen-powered Gear S smartwatch

Why Vivian Dsena and Drashti Dhami may never work together again?

NGOs pursue education for all

Darren Lehmann takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Ganesh Chaturthi 2014: Rani Mukerji seeks blessings from Lord Ganesha – view pics!

Apple iPhone 6 photos with full casing leaked ahead of September 9 launch

What is the Ebola virus disease survival rate?

Watch Stephen Hawkins endorse the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here