Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) assistant coach Simon Katich has admitted that there was tension in the group during the course of their campaign in this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
On Sunday, KKR faced a crushing nine-wicket defeat against Mumbai Indians in their last group stage encounter, thus bowing out of the tournament. It was the first time in four years that KKR had failed to make it to the playoffs.
KKR had started their campaign in an emphatic manner, winning three of the first five games. However, they lost their way thereafter and went on to lose six matches on the trot. During the course of this losing streak, it became evident that there was some tension within the group with Andre Russell coming out in open and talking about indecisions regarding his batting position within the leadership role in a press conference.
Contrasting statements were made by players and team management at different stages, aside from Dinesh Karthik’s very animated display of annoyance in the game against Kings XI Punjab.
In the post-match press conference after their last group stage encounter at the Wankhede, Katich said that the dynamic within the group had started to change during the course of their six-match losing streak.
“Can’t hide from the fact that there was tension,” he said. “That was pretty evident from the last few games after we got on a bit of a roll with losses. We’ve got to address that as a group.
“What is so important in the IPL is the dynamic in the group and I guess the unity. That’s something that KKR is very very proud of. It’s a very successful franchise and it’s something that everyone involved has worked very very hard to contribute to over a long period of time. That’s something we have to certainly work at to get better at it because there’s no doubt that throughout this campaign, the dynamic within our group has certainly changed,” he said.
The Kolkata-based franchise ended at the fifth spot on the table with 12 points. Their loss in the final encounter meant Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) went through on the basis of their superior net run rate.