Skipper Eoin Morgan heaped praise on Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer after Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Wednesday secured a dramatic three-wicket victory over Delhi Capitals to book IPL finals berth after seven long years.
In-form Iyer (55) and Shubman Gill (46) notched up 96 runs for the opening wicket but Kolkata lost five wickets, adding just seven runs to stare at defeat. Tripathi, however, held his nerves to hit a much-needed six and help Kolkata get over the finish line.
“We will dissect what happened in the last four overs. The openers gave us a great platform. But we have won and we are in the finals. We are delighted to get over the line. We are in the entertainment business and need to play some entertaining cricket.
“Six off 2 and you would say the odds are for the bowling side. But Tripathi has done it for us so many times. The guys coming in feel free to express themselves,” said Morgan after his side set up title clash with three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Morgan also shed light on Iyer’s breakthrough, adding that it was head coach Brendon McCullum who spotted the left-hander’s potential.
“The backroom staff have created an environment for them to do this. With the squad we have, there’s expectation. Hopefully, we can implement all that we’ve strategised. Venky Iyer idea [his elevation] came from the coach, my god, he’s a terrific player. Made the chase easy, looks like he was batting on a different wicket,” Morgan further said.
Notably, Kolkata had previously reached the final in 2012 and 2014 where they managed to clinch the title. Speaking on the title clash against MS Dhoni‘s men, Morgan said: “He would like to keep going, playing against CSK, one of the best franchises in IPL history. Anything can happen.”