After a thumping win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening encounter, the Knight Riders produced a dominating performance against the Mumbai Indians to register a comprehensive seven-wicket win at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
While Venkatesh Iyer (53) and Rahul Tripathi (74*) oozed confidence with the bat, the bowling unit, led by the spin twin Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy, has been in sublime form as well.
"It is extremely pleasing. We want the best for everybody in the changing room, and the aggressive cricket that we have shown in the last two games is exactly what suits the talented guys in our changing room. I know some of them might feel alien to take risk after risk after risk, but that is what we want them to do. They're a seriously talented batting and bowling line-up, and we want them to continue to get better," said skipper Eoin Morgan in the post-match press conference.
The southpaw also credited the strategies and planning done before the game as a critical aspect in the success of the team by saying, "There is a lot of preparation and strategies that go into the decisions made on the field. Obviously, when you're on the field, you need to adjust to what is happening with the pitch and the conditions here at Abu Dhabi. We have had good games both with strategies and planning because the bowlers have executed unbelievably well. They have been in fine form and make the rest of our preparation look really good."
One of the significant aspects post the resumption of the IPL 2021 campaign has been the formidable opening partnership between Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill. The duo took the attack to the opposition and made optimum use of the field restrictions to help the team with flying starts in the two games.
In the two matches, Iyer has been a standout performer for the Knights with 94 runs. However, Morgan credits the bowling unit for setting up the game for the team by restricting the oppositions for below-par totals.
"I don't think it is one player that's changed the outlook of the team. I think the last two games, the superstars in our side have been the bowlers. They have been outstanding on really good wickets to bat on here in Abu Dhabi, and I think that allowed our opening pair in Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer to go out and play their natural game. I think Venkatesh played an innings that would match a guy who has played possibly 50 IPL games.
“The freedom with which he has played is quite imposing as a batsman at the top of the order to do that. He has continued on his form from the first day. But I don't think it is one player; I think it is a collective effort. It is set up by our bowling line-up, which was magnificent again." he concluded.