In what was an enthralling contest at Chepauk, Chennai Super Kings managed to pull off a nail-biting victory against Kolkata Knight Riders in their second match of the VIVO IPL 2018. The Knights, however, had put up a great battle, and now back home in Kolkata, would be raring to go against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Eden Gardens on Saturday (April 14).
Heath Streak, KKR's bowling coach, spoke to media during an optional training session on Thursday. Here’s what he had to say:
Q. What’s the recovery process after the loss, considering KKR now have a few back-to-back games lined up?
HS: I think the biggest thing for us would be to execute our plans well. We had a couple of costly drop catches (against CSK). We dropped (Sam) Billings on 9 and he played superbly. He played some really good shots and we also didn't bowl our best to him. So it was a tough performance, and we have got to learn from those mistakes.
Q. On Mitchell Johnson, and the overall bowling performance.
HS: Mitch Johnson missed out on that game, he was rested for a slight niggle. Hopefully, he'll be back for the next game. I thought (Sunil) Narine was outstanding, I thought Andre (Russell) was also brilliant with the bowl. So we've got a couple of guys bowling well. And then we've seen our spinners, and we know what they can do. We just need to put a collective bowling performance in, in the next game.
Q. Would you see Vinay Kumar bowling a last over in future?
HS: Obviously that first ball he missed (pitching it) by a long way, and it went for a six. There was a lot of pressure on him. It's always easier to introspect. And I know, he's really disappointed how he bowled that last over. If we knew he's gonna go for that, you wouldn't bowl him. But we didn't know that. We could only go with what people have done in the past.
Q. Do you think, it's getting a bit harsh on Vinay after giving 17 runs in that last over. Any bowlers can give 17 runs, but whatever is happening after that's it's a bit harsh on him?
HS: Yeah look, I think, we've got to be a bit careful. He's not the first bowler and he wouldn't be the last one who won't defend a total of 17 or 20 in the last overs. We've seen that happen a number of times. Especially when you've got batsmen (out in the middle), and they had two good batters. We saw (Dwayne) Bravo in the first game, and we know what he can do. We saw Andre, who himself hit a few overs for those sort of numbers, 20 and 20 plus. It's just difficult when you have to defend the last one. People expect it. We did the same to their bowlers, hitting them for 20 plus an over runs towards the end.
Q. Any new strategy on bowling at the slog overs.
HS: Definitely, we have some combinations and matchup, in terms of when to use which bowler.
Q. Any suggestions for Vinay Kumar?
HS: Just the execution bit. If you look at the bowl that he has been hit. Like the first one, he was trying for a yorker, went for a full toss, and the bowl Jadeja hit for Six, that was a half-volley. It's just the execution, I think, his plan was OK, but if you don't execute at this level, people are going to hit you. And especially at his pace. So, he's gotta be on the money, if you bowling at 125-130, your accuracy and execution are got to be really tough.
Q. It is a Warner-less Sunriser Hyderabad, Will that be an advantage?
HS: Look Warner has been a guy who in his own right, won quite a few matches for them. I think they've got an exceptionally-good bowling line-up.They are very dangerous with their bowlers. They have got a good mix of bowlers. So we've got to be careful of that. We are playing good cricket. We have had a couple of good games with the bat. We bowled well in the first game. If we can put together a good batting and bowling collective performance, I think we can turn them over.
Q. Any changes in the bowling line-up from the last match?
HS: You always got to look at that. Mitchell Johnson, if he's fit, we are gonna have to look at it. We will look at our combination. We've got some options available to us. We will have to look at it, but that doesn't necessarily mean we will change it. It might be more like changing the combination.
Q. Any update on Mitchell Johnson?
HS: I think, he'll be good for the next game.
Q. How important was Andre Russell’s innings going forward, since he missed out one year and sustaining another hamstring injury recently?
HS: It's massive to have someone who can bowl 135-140 kmph and bat the way he bats. He's worth it. It's very valuable to have him and he's playing some good cricket. And that innings just show the match-winning capabilities of him. Hopefully, he can continue to do that for the remainder of the season.
Q. Why no Narine in the death overs in the last match?
HS: In the last match, we had to pull the game back. Narine normally bowls later and we felt using him in the middle to try and control the game and bring the run-rate back. It just goes tactically, but you'll see some changes from DK in the next game