India, Oct. 15 -- The Knight Riders will be disappointed with their performance but they have the time and opportunity to recover. It was a similar start to their IPL campaign this year, which they went on to win and it was against the same side at home.
They can take inspiration from that in the time to come. They must also accept that they lost to a side which was better on that particular day by a long way.
The Daredevils' pace attack was outstanding and Morne Morkel showed why he is rated an outstanding fast bowler. His steep bounce on the Centurion pitch not only stopped the batsmen from scoring quick runs, it also dealt body blows.
Kallis a worry
Jacques Kallis was an example and his injury could be a worry for KKR, for he provides so much balance and quality to the side.
His technique will be invaluable in these conditions and KKR would want him back soon. His bowling adds to the pace department as the attack looks a little short of pace after Brett Lee.
The reason for KKR's success in the IPL had to do with the quality of spin they had in their squad, but looking at the seaming South African pitches, their role in this competition could be minimised.
Sunil Narine was at his best. He is a huge threat to any side in this format and bowled superbly.
He got some turn even in these conditions and it's a huge quality for any spinner. It's not about getting spin on helpful pitches, it is also about being as effective on unhelpful ones, and he was the reason for the West Indian domination in the T20 World Cup.
KKR will play the Auckland Aces in their next campaign, a side, which looks less stronger than the Kolkata team. Although teams from the sub-continent get better with every outing in these conditions, KKR have to do it in a day and their captain will have to take a lead role.
His form of late has not been good and he needs to rediscover it quickly.
Looking from outside, it's not his technique but mental application and determination that have been found wanting at times, and this is a problem.
He needs to get the fear of failure out of his head and get bull-headed as they say in sports.
His captaincy has been impressive right through but he needs to perform with the bat.
Auckland have a lot of Kiwi players in the squad in conditions not foreign to them. Azhar Mehmood was superb in the last game. He looks very keen to make a mark as he is a professional T20 player.
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The writer is a former India captain
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.