Chris Lynn might be the toast of Kolkata after his swashbuckling knock against Gujarat Lions on Friday night, but kudos to skipper Gautam Gambhir for deciding to go ahead with the big-hitting Australian in place of the tried and tested Robin Uthappa.
Chasing 184 for victory, one would have expected Gambhir and Uthappa to come out to bat. After all, the two are the second-most successful opening partners in IPL with 1478 runs in 39 innings at a strike-rate of 133.03. They also have 9 fifty and 4 hundred-run partnerships to their name.
But skipper Gambhir decided to back Lynn to take the attack to the Gujarat Lions bowler. Lynn’s record in the Big Bash League would have also gone in the Australian’s favour. In this season of the BBL, Lynn had amassed 309 runs in five games at an astonishing strike-rate of 178.3. And Lynn started just from where he had left in the BBL.
More importantly, one area where Gambhir and Uthappa have failed to raise the heat is scoring runs in the powerplay. They have a run-rate of 7.97 in the powerplay and that has been an area of concern for the Knights. Pundits have often spoken about how both Gambhir and Uthappa being slow starters have handed the advantage to the opposition in the first six overs.
But on Friday, KKR were cruising at 73/0 after the powerplay. Also, the duo had simply batted the opposition out of the game. And the rest as they say is history. KKR won with 31 balls to spare. Captain Gambhir clearly has his thinking cap on from the word go.