IPL 2019, MI vs KKR: Kolkata's assistant coach Simon Katich admits tension on field, says team needs to address issue

Two-time champions KKR needed to win against Mumbai Indians on Sunday to qualify for the play-offs, but they slumped to a nine-wicket thrashing to crash out of the T20 tournament.

Press Trust of India, May 06, 2019 11:52:32 IST

Mumbai: Kolkata Knight Riders' assistant coach Simon Katich admitted that there was tension on the field within their ranks, and said the string of six losses had contributed to the change in dynamics within the group in their disappointing IPL campaign this year.

Two-time champions KKR needed to win against Mumbai Indians on Sunday to qualify for the play-offs, but they slumped to a nine-wicket thrashing to crash out of the T20 tournament.

Captain of KKR Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell during their match against Kings XI Punjab. Sportzpics

Captain of KKR Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell during their match against Kings XI Punjab. Sportzpics

"There is no doubt and we can't hide from the fact that there was some tension on the field. That was pretty evident in the last, I guess, few games after we got into a bit of a roll with losses. We have to address that as a group," Katich said at the post-match press conference.

"What is so important in IPL is the dynamic of the group and, I guess the unity, and that is something KKR is very proud of, added the former Australian Test batsman.

MI first restricted KKR to a meagre 133 for 7 and then knocked off the runs by the 17th over itself with Quinton de Kock (30), skipper Rohit Sharma (55 not out) and Suryakumar Yadav (46) completing the job with aplomb.

"It's a very successful franchise, something that everyone involved has worked very hard to contribute to over a long period of time. That's something we have to certainly work on to get better moving forward," Katich said.

"There is no doubt throughout this campaign that the dynamic in our group has certainly changed."

Katich was referring to the public criticism made by in-form all-rounder Andre Russell about some of the decisions taken by captain Dinesh Karthik, including not sending him up the batting order, and his statement of an unhealthy team atmosphere.

There was also a clear on-field display of lack of unity between the two players over the last few matches.

Katich said the home defeats against Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore played a key role in their ouster, eventually making their last match against MI a must-win one and that too at Wankhede, where they have a dismal record.

"It's disappointing. It's always a tough ask to come to Mumbai where we don't have a great record. Yes it would have been nice to win and get through. To finish where we did (fifth on the table) - it's probably what we deserved. We had a great start but fell away badly through that middle phase," he said.

"Those two missed opportunities were good opportunities to shore up our play-off chances. Those games against RCB and Rajasthan at home, losing those two games was always going to come back and hurt us."
He credited the Mumbai bowling attack for its potency and said it was always difficult to play catch-up against the three-time champions.

"We lost that first wicket (Shubman Gill) first after powerplay. In terms of Andre (who was out for a duck), he has enjoyed coming up the order. Today wasn't his day - credit to Mumbai bowlers, they are class acts. (Jasprit) Bumrah and (Lasith) Malinga they exploited the conditions well. It was a slowish wicket. At the end we weren't good enough."

"Mumbai are a team we can't play catch-up. In the last few overs we are going to face two-three overs of (Jasprit) Bumrah, (Lasith) Malinga and Hardik Pandya. We did it very well at home (when KKR won), but here we struggled," he said.

Katich praised Gill and pacer Sandeep Warrier, in particular, among the Indian lot of players.

"It's hard to pin it on one person in particular. Overall in the season we had a lot of positive signs. Young Shubman Gill looks like a talent for us in the future. He has done a variety of roles for us and played very well. A lot of overseas players performed really strongly. In terms of bowling Sandeep Warrier did a good job when he came for us in the last three games.

"Going ahead we need improvement in powerplay. We had struggled in powerplay overs, asked our spinners to come and do the job. We have three quality spinners. Unfortunately, you can't dictate terms with spinners if you don't take wickets up front, Katich pointed out.

Updated Date: May 06, 2019 11:53:39 IST


IPL 2019 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Mumbai
14 9 5 0 18
2
Chennai
14 9 5 0 18
3
Delhi
14 9 5 0 18
4
Hyderabad
14 6 8 0 12
5
Kolkata
14 6 8 0 12
6
Punjab
14 6 8 0 12
7
Rajasthan
14 5 8 0 11
8
Bangalore
14 5 8 0 11
See Full Table





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5372 125
2 India 5669 121
3 South Africa 4488 115
4 New Zealand 3729 113
5 Australia 4342 109
6 Pakistan 3846 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254