Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) coach Brendon McCullum has admitted that losing experienced overseas players like Pat Cummins and skipper Eoin Morgan for the second half of IPL 2021 would be highly disappointing. At the same time, he asserted that the scenario would provide an opportunity for local lads like Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana to lift their game.
As per reports, both Cummins and Morgan are unlikely to be available for the remainder of IPL 2021, which is set to resume in the UAE in September.
In an interaction with Sports Today, Brendon McCullum said that losing experienced overseas players would be a setback.
“Now, if we are to lose some of those guys, that would be really disappointing because, structurally, we had set it up to rely on certain people and some of those personalities which we had picked. I knew that if we were under pressure they would still be in it for the long haul and would remain calm during tough times. I think of Pat Cummins and Eoin Morgan, who are calm customers and good leaders.”
Brendon McCullum further added:
“If we were to lose them, then we are going to have to find some guys to step up. That brings out an opportunity for the likes of Shubman Gills and Nitish Ranas, who can, may be, have to play beyond their years and experience.”
Gill and Rana suffocated by their own insecurities: Brendon McCullum
KKR had a disappointing run in the first half of IPL 2021. They managed only two wins from their seven games.
In one of the post-match conferences, Brendon McCullum had blamed the team for the lack of intent, particularly in the batting department. Even when the tournament resumes, Brendon McCullum wants to see greater aggression from the team, especially from the young Indians in the squad.
The former New Zealand captain said:
“It does take courage to play aggressively. It is quite uncomfortable at times and your are going to fail often, more times than you succeed. The message I just try to keep pushing on to the guys is that we have many people who can play the other style of the game – the safe, conservative approach. But what separates the best are those who are prepared to go out and get what they want rather than wait for someone to give it to them.
“Once you have success doing it, it just empowers you and your confidence grows and your aura as a cricketer grows. Oppositions start treating you differently. They start being wary of you as a player rather than focusing purely on your weaknesses. That’s what I am trying to drive into some of the young guys, the likes of Shubman and Nitish in particular, because they have the game. They are only suffocated by their own insecurities or pressures at this stage. They are tremendous talents,” Brendon McCullum further added.
BCCI recently confirmed, after a virtual SGM, that the remainder of IPL 2021 will be shifted to the UAE. The tournament had to be halted after 29 games as COVID-19 cases were reported in the bio-bubble.