Knight Riders may drop Yusuf Pathan against Chennai

Kolkata, April 19 (IANS) Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Friday hinted at dropping misfiring big gun Yusuf Pathan for explosive batsman Brendon McCullum in their crucial encounter against Chennai Super Kings at the Eden Gardens Saturday.

When asked if the team management was thinking of including McCullum, Knight Riders coach Trevor Bayliss said there is a strong possibility that the New Zealand skipper will get a look in. McCullum has been warming the benches after missing the initial few games due to injury

“There is a possibility, it has been on my mind,” Bayliss told reporters.

The Australian said there was a possibility of a change in the combination of foreign players in the playing eleven.

With his team’s title defence under threat after losing three out of five games, Bayliss hinted at dropping Pathan for Saturday’s game. The burly allrounder has failed to live up to the billing of a big hitter and has managed just 61 runs from five games.

“I have been working with Pathan and trying to find out what is wrong with him. But we have a couple of options and we might use them,” said Bayliss.

The coach, though, was quick to emphasise on the match winning abilities of Pathan.

“Of course he is a match winner and we are all aware of his capabilities. He has been looking confident and we all hope that his form comes back sooner than later,” said Bayliss.

Conceding that his batsmen were “not playing as well they should be” the Australian hoped they would come good against the Chennai outfit.

“Our batsmen have not been playing as well as they should be. The embarrassment on the players’ faces was evident after the narrow loss to Kings XI Punjab in the last match. They were hurt to let the game slip like that. But that is not going to affect the team morale. The boys know they have to play well.

“It is about confidence. Once they spend time at the crease and hit a few balls and get some runs, they will be back in form,” added Bayliss.

The Kolkata franchise who have won both their home games would hope to continue the trend and move up the points table from the current seventh position. Super Kings on the other hand are placed fourth after winning three out of five games.

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