Kolkata Knight Riders were far from their best in IPL 2020. They were highly inconsistent never winning more than two matches in a row in the tournament. As a collective unit, there were hardly any outstanding performances throughout the season - most of the times KKR were average in the tournament. The batting was a few notches below than what their team potential was - on as many as 5 occasions they were below par scoring less than 160 - of course, their lowest point was the 84 for 8 against RCB in Abu Dhabi.
The failure of two of their star all-rounders - Andre Russell and Sunil Narine - was KKR’s biggest setback of the season. Russell and Narine are the two most destructive batsmen in IPL history with a career strike rate of 182.33 and 164.27. But they just did not click in IPL 2020. Narine scored just 121 runs in 9 innings at a strike rate of 142.35 - he registered as many as 6 single-digit scores in the tournament. Russell fared even worse with 117 runs in 9 innings at a strike rate of 144.44. The West Indian who was outstanding and breathtaking in IPL 2019, had a highest score of 25 and could not produce even one defining knock the entire season.
The lack of quick scoring and power hitting was one of KKR’s weaknesses in the tournament. In spite of having some destructive names in the XI, none of their batsmen had a strike rate of above 145 in the tournament.
The failure of Pat Cummins for most of the tournament and the inability and lack of potency of KKR’s pace bowling to take opposition wickets was another major reason for their poor performance this year. The Australian pacer only managed to get amongst the wickets in his last 4 matches - he picked 9 wickets in his last 4 matches - KKR were already behind in the race by then.
Sunil Narine, their leading wicket taker in IPL history, managed to pick just 5 wickets in 10 matches and was also not very restrictive conceding at 7.94 runs per over. KKR were able to take more than half of the opposition wickets on only 4 occasions in 14 matches in the tournament - this sums up their collective failure with the ball.
IPL 2020 record: Played: 14; Won: 7; Lost: 7; Points: 14; Standing: 5
The victory over the Rajasthan Royals in Dubai - by 60 runs - which gave KKR some hope of qualifying for the playoffs - was their best performance of the season. Eoin Morgan finally came into his own with an unbeaten 68 off 35 deliveries and Russell hit a quick-fire 25 off 11 deliveries - his finest showing of the season. Pat Cummins also gave his best of the season picking 4 wickets within the power-play in effect winning the match for KKR in the first 6 overs.
KKR gave the worst batting display by any team of IPL 2020 against RCB in Abu Dhabi. They were restricted to a paltry 84 for 8 with as many as 4 of their top 5 batsmen registering single-digit scores.
KKR had a captaincy crisis mid-way into the tournament. With the team not doing well and his own performance in the doldrums, skipper Dinesh Karthik handed over the mantle to Eoin Morgan. The team did make some interesting changes under the England limited-overs’ veteran’s captaincy including sending Sunil Narine down the order but overall it was 4-3 under Karthik and 3-4 under Morgan.
Most valuable player
The architect-turned- cricketer, Varun Chakravarthy, was KKR’s standout performer of the season. He was their highest wicket-taker with 17 wickets from 13 matches. Chakravarthy was also very restrictive conceding at an economy rate of just 6.84 runs per over - again, the lowest for KKR in the season. His best performance came against Delhi Capitals where he returned with 5-12 off his 4 overs - the second-best bowling spell by a KKR bowler in IPL history!
Andre Russell was the biggest disappointment for KKR in IPL 2020. Neither was he able to produce any substantial score nor a match-changing cameo. Russell could only muster 117 runs in 9 innings at a strike rate of 144.44 with a highest score of 25. He got many opportunities but never got the impetus and the connect at the start and was dismissed cheaply soon after. Pat Cummins scored more runs than Russell in the tournament!
KKR in IPL 2020 were a patch of the two-time former champions. The batting lacked firepower, even collapsed on a couple of occasions and the big guns failed to live up to their name and reputation. The bowling, barring Varun Chakravarthy, lacked intimidation and potency for the most part of the tournament. KKR were hot and cold and could not find any momentum at any stage in the tournament.
Most runs: Shubman Gill (440)
Most wickets: Varun Chakravarthhy (17)
Highest individual score: Nitish Rana (87)
Best Bowling Figures: Varun Chakravarthy (5-20 in 4 overs)