Former Australian spinner Brad Hogg thinks Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Eoin Morgan should be dropped from the XI if he wants to play Andre Russell in the eliminator against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
RCB and KKR will meet in the eliminator of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in Sharjah on Monday. The winner of the competition will meet the loser of Qualifier 1 to fight for a place in the final.
According to Hogg, KKR must avoid Russell’s game in the eliminator as New Zealand speedster Lucky Ferguson has also returned from injury. He added that if KKR takes risks with Russell, Shakib Al Hasan should not be left out at any cost.
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The former Chinaman bowler commented on the preview of the RCB vs KKR match on his YouTube channel:
“If Russell is fit to play, it will be a big risk to bring him in. Also, they may have to bring out one of their most prominent players who has performed so well in the last two matches – Shakib Al Hasan. I won’t take that risk because your Ferguson is back from injury. If one of them (Russell or Ferguson) goes down, you haven’t got a frontline bowler to finish the over.
Hogg mentioned that Shakib’s presence provides more balance in the KKR game XI and so he should be kept in the fight against RCB. The 50-year-old added:
“Shakib is a good match for the best for against RCB. He is a very intelligent bowler and also very good in powerplay. He can handle the bat too. If Russell has to come back with all those things, I want Morgan out of the team and Karthik as captain. This is a big step in a big play-off match, but sometimes you have to accept that sacrifice in order to maintain a better balance in the team.
Sunrisers claimed 1 for 20 against Hyderabad (SRH) and 1 (1 over) against Rajasthan Royals (RR).
“Supporting KKR in the match against RCB” – Brad Hogg
Although KKR are fourth in the points table after the league season, Hogg believes they are better balanced than RCB. He supported KKR throughout Virat Kohli’s men’s eliminator. Explaining his position, the former left-arm spinner said:
“KKR has got mysterious spinners – Chakraborty and Narine. They are going to be very good match-ups like De Villiers and Maxwell. I also like KKR’s batting line-up against RCB bowlers. They’ve got a mix of right-handed and left-handed batsmen at the bottom of the list. They can take spinners. With RCB’s pace bowlers, there is no real pace to upset KKR’s middle-order. Supporting KKR in this match against RCB. ”
RCB defeated KKR by 38 runs during the India leg of IPL 2021.