The team has worked immensely on fitness and skills says Smriti Mandhana
14 Sep 2021
The second phase of IPL 2021 is set to begin from 19th September after the virus had breached through the bubbles during the first phase of the tournament forcing the authorities to suspend the tournament indefinitely. Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum stated that the team was paralysed by fear when covid affected the first half of the tournament.
Varun Chakravarthy, the off-spinner who has become an integral part of the KKR set-up was the first one to test positive for the virus followed by fast bowler Sandeep Warrier. The tournament was eventually postponed indefinitely in May.
The two-time champions, Kolkata Knight Riders had a forgettable time in the first half of the tournament and are currently occupying the 7th spot in the points table. They need to play out of their skin in the second half of the competition to harbour any hopes of making it through to the last four.
“In regards to the tournament which is upcoming (second half of the IPL phase), we can end it right. We can take the game on and we’re in a situation where we need things to go our way,” McCullum was quoted as saying by the KKR website.
“We need to hit the ground running, challenge one another privately, support one another publicly and try and get the best out of one another in the next 4-5 weeks. Who knows where we can go with this.
“There were sometimes throughout the season when I just felt we were being paralysed a little bit by fear,” he further added.
India was going through tumultuous times during the first half of the tournament as the virus was sweeping away thousands across the country. McCullum who took IPL by storm back in 2008 during the inaugural season, feels that KKR can get rid of their disappointment from the first phase and come back stronger in UAE.
“I wasn’t able to free the guys up enough to understand that and that’s sort of a challenge for me. But it is also a good challenge for the guys as well that they need to push the envelope of their own thinking as well.
“Hopefully we will be able to strip away a bit of the angst which had built up in the first part of the season, just go out there and try and enjoy ourselves.
“That’s the ambition that I have got for the franchise and hence why I am unapologetic and unrelenting in my belief that we need to play a braver style of play,” he said.