IPL 2022: Shane Watson analyzes KKR's underwhelming campaign - “They were always trying to chase a combination” - Sportskeeda

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Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson reckons that the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) never looked settled during their IPL 2022 campaign since they seemed to be chasing a combination rather than trusting their players.

KKR’s IPL 2022 journey ended in heartbreak as they went down to the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by 2 runs on Wednesday, chasing a target of 211. Kolkata finished on 12 points from 14 games and thus were eliminated from the playoffs race.

Sharing his views on Kolkata’s topsy-turvy ride in IPL 2022, Watson said on the 'Grade Cricketer' podcast:

“It’s never a good sign when teams are changing their selection really often. KKR made a lot of changes in their 14 games and it just looked like they were always trying to chase a combination. Even if you give players one or two games, it doesn’t mean that they are going to perform in those games.”

Watson added about Kolkata’s chop-and-change theory in IPL 2022:

“Even if someone is having an amazing tournament, they are not going to score runs in every single game. But when you chop and change, you are not giving them a chance. You’ve got to trust the players that you have and trust that you have picked the right players. Unless there are drastic things, you try not to change.”

Apart from making constant changes in their playing XI, KKR kept altering their opening combination as well. Apart from Venkatesh Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane, Aaron Finch, Sunil Narine, Sam Billings and Baba Indrajith also opened the innings.

“Their key people got exposed” - Watson on KKR’s big overseas names faltering

Watson admitted that the poor returns of overseas stars like Aaron Finch and Pat Cummins made matters worse for Kolkata, forcing them to make additional changes than they would have liked. The 40-year-old said:

“Unfortunately for KKR, some of the players that came in looked pretty much out of touch. Aaron Finch looked all over the shop in the games that he played in. Pat Cummins, with the ball, he was going for nearly 40-50 every time he bowled. Their key people just sort of got exposed. But again you’ve got to trust that they will find a way. They just kept chopping and changing quickly. As soon as that’s happening, it never works.”

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Kolkata began their IPL 2022 campaign with three wins in their first four matches. However, they then lost five matches in a row. Despite tasting victories in three of their last five games, they were eliminated from the tournament.

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