Kolkata: Jacques Kallis is the new change at the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) but the South African indicated yesterday that not much will change.
Kallis has replaced Trevor Bayliss, under whose coaching KKR has won their two IPL titles and made the final on another occasion, and the former all-rounder sees no reason to change tracks.
Quite literally so, when it comes to KKR’s ‘go slow’ policy on home turf.
‘Not much will change’
“Not much will change unless they dig and relay the square,” Kallis shot back when asked about kind of wickets KKR will provide at the Eden Gardens.
“Also, because of the World T20, the wickets are pretty used. I think they will be low and slow with a bit of turn. That’s the nature of wickets here,” he reminded.
The words brought echoes from past seasons, when skipper Gautam Gambhir had to vehemently defend the tracks in the face of criticisms, one such murmur coming from MS Dhoni, the then skipper of Chennai Super Kings.
If Kallis failed to mention Eden’s ability to also present good batting tracks, as was evident at Sunday’s World T20 final, it was a pointer to policy. There was confirmation of that.
Spin key to success
“Spin bowling has certainly been one of our strengths. Our batters know how to play on our wickets. We will surely have some home advantage,” said Kallis, who played for KKR from 2011 to 2013, and was a mentor and batting consultant last year. He has now stepped into the big shoes of Bayliss, who had to give up the KKR job to take up the one with England.
“I’m fortunate that the system is in place; my coaching style would be similar to what his was. There’s an old saying if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I will be sticking to that theory,” Kallis said. “I worked as a player and then a filler coach so I got to know what works with the guys,” he added, conscious of last season’s slip when KKR failed to make the play-offs.