A seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Delhi Capitals on Thursday sees Kolkata Knight Riders sitting at the fifth spot in the points table with just two wins after seven games. And head coach Brendon McCullum is not impressed with the way the campaign has gone for the Knights in the 14th edition of the IPL.
Both McCullum and skipper Eoin Morgan are associated to playing an aggressive brand of cricket. But the KKR hasn't managed to do that and McCullum says it has been nothing short of disappointing at how the team has played so far, including the loss to DC.
"I am glad you asked me this. It is very disappointing, as a player you are asked to be given freedom, confidence, and loyalty when it comes to selection. To go out there and take the game on, and be aggressive to try and make things happen for your team. That's the style of play that myself and captain Eoin Morgan have asked of our players. But unfortunately, we are not getting it in abundance that we need and what we saw from Prithvi Shaw tonight was a perfect template of how we want to play," he said while replying to an ANI query in the post-match virtual press conference.
But McCullum is clear that if the boys cannot get their act right, he will have to sit with the senior team management and take calls that will see KKR return to winning ways.
"You cannot hit every ball for four or six, you can have the intent to do so. Unfortunately tonight we did not play as many shots, and that has become a theme and there's a saying that I followed throughout my career — if you cannot change the man, change the man. We need to make some changes and try and bring some fresh personnel who can try to take the game on a bit more," he pointed.
While the KKR batting line-up looks to have the firepower it needs, the runs on the board have left a lot to be desired and McCullum feels that the batsmen at the top need to take the initiative when the ball is new as the surface is slow.
"The batting order on paper is really good, but it just hasn't delivered. You only look at the best games of the guys when you are putting batting order together, unfortunately, we haven't been able to go on with it to post a suitable score. Andre Russell did well to take us to that score, but on a slow surface like that, you need to maximise the new ball in the fielding restrictions.
"In T20 cricket, you got to part the old school mentality of scoring a boundary and then taking a one, you have to try and put pressure on opposition teams, if you score boundary, you need to look for another one. It is very difficult if you are not looking for that boundaries. I have asked to be more aggressive and we continue to not do that, we have to make some changes for sure," he said.