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. “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.
“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.
“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. 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.