The game against Rajasthan Royals was a matter of pride for Kolkata Knight Riders. Not only did they win but they also destruct one of the strongest looking batting sides in the tournament, all of it and who gets the credit? Again. KKR. The reason was the youngsters in every department who did their job with fantastic execution and proved that the trust provided by the franchise does not go vain.
It was a matter of two years in the making that the talented pace-duo of Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkotti expressed themselves with the best of their attributes and got the reward for everything they were expected to do.
Having Pat Cummins as someone who took them under his wing and mentored them only added to all the qualities and skills they had. To put it into perspective, Rajasthan Royals comprised a batting order that had Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, and Sanju Samson upfront. After Cummins showed his supremacy by knocking Steve Smith out of the picture, it was Mavi’s turn to express himself.
Mavi was all prepared for a flat wicket but what doubled his impact on the game was early anticipation and observation about the pitch when he saw the ball seaming. Mavi then adjusted his line with his sheer pace and tried to get the most out of the pitch, incorporating some lethal bouncers in his plan as well.
The powerplay saw a dominant pace bowling with Cummins and Mavi getting rid of Steve Smith and Sanju Samson respectively. However, Jos Buttler was still there in the middle and could’ve easily been the lone warrior for RR that day. However, the pressure of the run rate rising up and with Mavi brilliantly varying his lengths, a short ball was enough to catch Buttler off-guard as Mavi had 2-13 in three overs with two game-changing wickets in his pockets.
After Cummins was taken off, it was Kamlesh Nagarkotti’s time to shine as his first ball rewarded him his maiden IPL wicket and it was none other than Robin Uthappa, who has been out of form lately but is still known as a brilliant batsman. Nagarkoti was over the moon as soon as he dismissed Riyan Parag in the same over and KKR were very much certain that a victory was near.
Not to forget, Shubman Gill another youngster who was pressurized for the name and fame he received in the U-19 World Cup but his IPL debut season wasn’t as promising as it felt. Yet again KKR showed trust and now Gill looks to have settled in the team as well as his batting position.
For Mavi and Nagarkotti, both acquired in 2018 by KKR, injuries were a big blow for two young players trying to make a name for themselves. However, September 30 was the best day for both the players and the franchise as the faith shown kindled their revival in the league.
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