IPL 7: Why Kolkata Knight Riders are worthy champions?

DC | AMEYA TILAK
Published Jun 2, 2014, 5:45 pm IST
Updated Apr 1, 2019, 4:11 am IST
KKR refused to opt for 'chop and drop' policy
Kolkata Knight Riders were unafraid to make tough calls while picking the best XI/ While dropping Kallis raised quite a few eyebrows initially, the decision powered KKR to win their second IPL trophy. Photo: BCCI
 Kolkata Knight Riders were unafraid to make tough calls while picking the best XI/ While dropping Kallis raised quite a few eyebrows initially, the decision powered KKR to win their second IPL trophy. Photo: BCCI

Mumbai: On the day rather night that mattered, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) held their nerve and went on to lift the IPL 7 trophy. With a shaky start they had, not many were kind enough to offer them a chance to become IPL champions one more time. But KKR played their hearts out to lift the IPL trophy for the second time. This special feat has now equalled their IPL trophy tally with the most consistent IPL team, Chennai Super Kings (CSK.) While there can be many rationales to explain why KKR won, here are the top five reasons explaining why KKR emerged IPL 7 champions.

Opening combination:

 

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had their share failures in deciding who should open the inning for the team. They tried Pandey, Kallis, Uthappa and Gambhir at the top changing and chopping amongst four of them. Gambhir had a horrific start and so did the KKR in a couple of games in the earlier half of the IPL 7. But eventually, they settled in with Gambhir and Uthappa at the top of the inning. While Uthappa impressed one and all and became the Orange Capper with runs in 16 games, Gambhir too got over his toothless beginnings to contribute as an opener.

Bowlers taking responsibility:

While Narine was the superstar by a fair margin, the other bowlers played their role to perfection. This not only served KKR well, but also offered Nairne a much-needed freedom and background from where he could attack the opposition batsmen, bamboozle them and give KKR the wickets they require from him. Along with Narine, Shakib and Piyush Chawla lived upto the expectations their skipper bestowed upon them. The pace attack that initially tried quite a few different combinations stuck to their task as Umesh Yadav and the most experienced KKR bowler (on the field) Morne Morkel bowled consistently in a major part of the tournament.

Right team combinations:

Kolkata Knight Riders started their IPL 7 campaign making Jacques Kallis an integral part of the playing XI. While the all-time great South African all-rounder did not do too badly, he was slow off the mark as an opener. KKR then did the wise thing and excluded him from the playing XI bringing in more aggressive options like Shakib, Ryan ten Doeschate and giving them a long run. That not only pushed Gambhir at the top of the batting order, it also helped Pandey to get his settled number three position in the batting order. What happened from thereon is the story of KKR’s IPL 7 triumph.

No chop and drop policy:

Once KKR thought they have found the ideal playing XI, they did not toy up with it. It was not the case that everyone fired in all the games. For example- Suryakumar Yadav did not get going for long. But as he added value to team's fielding. In his case and otherwise, KKR maintained their calm and their playing XI through thick and thin instead of opting for ‘chop and drop’ policy. While it was a bit risky in the eyes of a few, the strategy paid off for the IPL 7 champions KKR.

Ability to bounce back:

Not many gave KKR a chance after the patchy start losing five games out of their first seven. But the team under gutsy (and grumpy) Gautam Gambhir turned the tables with grandeur as they win 9 games in a row including the all-important final against KXIP. While the spirited Kings XI Punjab enjoyed an upper hand against all the other teams in IPL 7, KKR remained the only team who had a better win-loss ratio of 3-1 against the IPL7 runners-up.

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