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‘Their performance throughout this IPL has been exceptional’ – Mike Hesson lauds KKR after qualifying for the playoffs

'Their performance throughout this IPL has been exceptional' - Mike Hesson lauds KKR after qualifying for the playoffs

Kolkata Knight Riders. (Source -IPL/BCCI)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) became the first team to seal a playoff berth in the ongoing IPL 2024 season after a comprehensive 18-run win over Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Eden Gardens on May 11. Former Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) coach Mike Hesson heaped praises on KKR and believed that the Kolkata camp thoroughly deserved their spot in the playoffs.

KKR has been one of the standout teams this IPL season under the mentorship of Gautam Gambhir. They currently top the points table with nine wins from 12 games. Their victory over MI was their fourth win in a row.

In a rain-affected game, the hosts were asked to bat first and posted 157/7 with valuable contributions from Venkatesh Iyer (42 off 21), Nitish Rana (33 off 23), Andre Russell (24 off 14) and Rinku Singh (20 off 12). In reply, MI was restricted to 139/8 as Varun Chakravarthy (2/17), Russell (2/34) and Harshit Rana (2/34) kept things tight for the hosts.

Hesson was full of praise for the well-rounded KKR unit after the game. “KKR has secured the playoffs position and thoroughly deserved it. I mean, their performance throughout this IPL has been exceptional. They’ve got so many match winners, you know, in their batting lineup, they bat deep. Anyone on their given day can win the game,” Mike Hesson said on Jio Cinema.

Also read: Nitish Rana on injury comeback at Eden Gardens

They’ve got all that power at the back end as well: Mike Hesson

Hesson highlighted KKR’s batting depth as their biggest strength. “We’ve seen how the openers and the top order do it, but they’ve got all that power at the back end as well. Even Ramandeep, you know, he’s an unsung hero,” Hesson added.

The Kiwi also lauded KKR’s bowling attack. “And these guys here, if there’s anything in the wicket Narine and Chakravarthy will exploit it, and the young seamers have been impressive as well. And Starc, you know, he hasn’t been great, but on his day he can turn a game as well. So they are very much the real deal,” Hesson further added.

Also read: I had meticulously planned Rohit Sharma’s dismissal: Varun Chakaravarthy

KKR have been the team to beat this IPL thanks to a terrific all-round side. With match-winners with bat and ball, they have adapted well to different conditions. One more win will confirm a top-two finish and a spot in the playoff qualifier. After years of underperformance, the two-time champions finally look like serious title contenders again in IPL 2024 under Shreyas Iyer’s leadership and Gambhir’s mentorship.

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