(Or, how it is now established that Sunil Gavaskar indeed knows his cricket)
Let’s face it; even if the full team was available, KKR would have struggled.
Their batting relies too much on the top 3; Sourav comes in too late to matter. Remember, he has always been the sort who plays himself in for a few overs before launching into top gear.
The only decent bowler they have is Ishant. The rest of them are pathetic. The bench strength is so poor that Agrakar keeps playing match after match. Though, it is a mystery to many why Mashrafe Mortaza is warming the bench when the KKR team bought him for such a high price. The mystery is compunded by Ashok Dinda playing their last match as a specialist batsman.
Even in the last IPL, all the matches won by KKR was on the strength of inspired individual performances: like Shoaib Akhtar in that one match or Ganguly’s superlative knock in another.
In a lot of ways, KKR reflects the big budget Shahrukh potboiler: where Shahrukh is expected to carry the movie on his own; support cast or no support cast. But, cricket, as Sunil Gavaskar is too polite to point out to Shahrukh, is played by 11 men on the field and the roles of the director, script-writer etc are limited once those 11 are in the field. There are no re-takes, no “cuts” and normally no second chances unless of course, there is a dropped catch!
I was amused to read Buchanan’s interview in a Bengali daily where he claims that his franchise is 100% behind him and he is “on plan” to creating long term assets. He probably wants to put this year and the previous year behind him and talk about how in the long term, KKR will grow cricketing talent in the country. Alex Ferguson and Manchester United; take note. Someone else reads your script.
But, Mr Buchanan, even a phenomenally successful coach like Ferguson needs constant good performance from his present team to justify investments in the future. Given the pathetic run of this team, if Shahrukh wants to continue his involvement in this team, he has to write off many bad invstments and make new ones.
A high profile built up only on high voltage marketing is vulnerable. If nothing else, to ridicule. The Fake IPL Player is only fishing in troubled waters. Calming the waters, getting the right players in the team and getting them focused on the job of playing cricket the way at least some of them can, is what the team needs and its supporters expect.