After yet another humiliating defeat, against Delhi Daredevils, KKR skipper McCullum admits his team has been inconsistent in all the three departments
Even a four-day break could not reverse the fortunes of the Kolkata Knight Riders as the team co-owned by Shah Rukh was yet again humiliated, this time by the Delhi Daredevils, at the Wanderers yesterday.
Kolkata Knight Riders' Moises Henriques is stumped by the Delhi Daredevils wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik at the Wanderers yesterday. Delhi won by seven wickets to go atop the points table. pic/afp
Put in to bat first, KKR could manage just 123 for eight off their 20 overs, with Sourav Ganguly, who finally opened the batting, being the top-scorer with 44. Had it not been for Ajit Agarkar (39 off 29) and Murali Kartik's (11 not out) 35-run stand for the eighth wicket, KKR would have struggled to reach the three-figure mark.
Though the Daredevils were again without injured Virender Sehwag, a target of 124 was always going to be a cakewalk for one of the most formidable batting line-ups of the tournament. Riding on useful contributions by AB de Villiers (40 not out) and David Warner (36 off 23), the Daredevils overhauled the target with 17 balls to spare, losing just three wickets to emerge as the sole leaders.
Brendon McCullum, the KKR skipper whose miserable form with the bat continued as he could last barely three balls, lamented the all-round failure of his side for their eighth loss from 10 matches.Inconsistent
"We are not consistent across the board, we need to get all three facets of the game firing at the same time," a visibly disappointed McCullum said after the match. "At times our bowlers are doing well but fielding is letting us down. Sometimes we are not batting good enough."
Asked specifically about yesterday's loss, McCullum said: "Not enough runs on the board. We fought well to get 120, but those three wickets at the top hurt us. Around 20-30 runs more and it could have been a close game."
Delhi's opening left-arm seamers Ashish Nehra and Dirk Nannes took three KKR wickets in the first two overs.
From then on, it was always a chasing game for KKR and they never looked like having an edge till de Villiers ended their misery with a spanking pull shot off Sourav Sarkar off the first ball of the 18th over.
While KKR have been losing all along, Delhi have been the most consistent team of IPL-II, having won seven of the nine games that they have played so far. But the leaders are far from being satisfied.Winning's a habit
"We still have five more games to play. We have to continue winning. Winning is a habit and we have to maintain that. It will be difficult to recover from any loss at this stage of the tournament," stand-in skipper Gautam Gambhir said.
Gambhir, who put on 53 for the opening wicket along with Warner to take away any hopes of a miraculous comeback by KKR, complimented his bowlers for yesterday's comprehensive victory.
"The bowlers set up the match for us. It was a brilliant effort from them to restrict the Knight Riders to a paltry total. They were reduced to three for nine and that, I think, put us in an advantageous situation," the southpaw said.