DHAKA: At one point this IPL season, Kolkata Knight Riders were reeling -- they had lost five of their seven matches and even though it was early in the season, it looked like they had already blown their chance of making the playoffs.
But just when it seemed like there was no rescuing them, they rose from the ashes and scripted an amazing turnaround with five consecutive wins. They sit second in the table now and need to win two games to win title.
Most of the credit goes to the team management; they spotted the weak areas and followed up with some brave decisions which played a major part in the turnaround. Here are some reasons behind KKR's brilliant turnaround this season:
Jacques Kallis is a cricketing legend, one of the best all-rounders in the game. It's difficult to drop a player of the stature of Kallis.
But the KKR team managed showed a lot of courage in dropping the South African all-rounder. Kallis was having a mediocre tournament, he had scored just 151 runs from seven innings at 25.16 with a strike rate of 117.05. He wasn't quite effective in the bowling department too, averaging 46.50 and going for 8.45 runs an over with just four wickets from eight matches.
Dropping Kallis meant that Shakib Al Hasan got a chance to play consistently. The Bangladesh all-rounder has proved his worth to the team with some crucial all-round performances.
In the last match against CSK, he was promoted up the order at number four, he strode at the crease with KKR needing 57 from 50 balls and just killed of the match with a breathtaking 46* off 21 balls.
KKR won the match with two overs to spare. His big hitting abilities coupled with his disciplined bowling make him a must-have player in the starting eleven.
Shakib has so far scored 197 runs from 11 innings and his strike rate is way better than Kallis.
In the bowling department too, he has preformed really well with 10 wickets from 11 matches with a moderate economy rate.
Shakib, Narine and Piyush Chawla are top three wicket takers of the team while Shakib is considered most valuable all rounder.
The team management has also made some brave decision with regards to the batting order which have proved to be fruitful. Yusuf Pathan was going through a rough phase, the team management promoted him to number four against Mumbai at Cuttack.
BDST: 1100 HRS, MAY 27, 2014