Bengaluru, September 14: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum is hopeful that his side hits the ground running and has a better second phase when Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 resumes in UAE.
When IPL 2021 was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India earlier this year, KKR were seventh in the points table with 4 points from seven games, managing just two wins. Now, KKR needs to win six of seven in order to book a place in the play-offs.
And McCullum felt his side can turn things around when the season resumes from September 19, but admitted they need to hit the ground running and need to be consistent in performance for the remainder of the matches.
"In regards to the tournament which is upcoming (IPL phase II), we can end it right. We can take the game on and we're in a situation where we need things to go our way," the official website of KKR quoted McCullum as saying.
"We need to hit the ground running, challenge one another privately, support one another publicly and try and get the best out of one another in the next 4-5 weeks. Who knows where we can go with this."
McCullum also admitted that his side was a little bit paralysed due to fear of failing in the first phase of the IPL 2021 when they suffered five defeats.
"Everyone who supports KKR knows exactly the type of cricket they are going to play. We are going to try and entertain and take the opposition on. There were sometimes throughout the season when I just felt we were being paralysed a little bit by fear," he added.
Further talking about his coaching style, McCullum said it was a good learning for himself and the players.
"I wasn't able to free the guys up enough to understand that and that's sort of a challenge for me. But it is also a good challenge for the guys as well that they need to push the envelope of their own thinking as well," McCullum said.
The head coach, however, hopes to put the first phase behind and wants his side to go out there and enjoy themselves by playing with freedom.
"Hopefully we will be able to strip away a bit of the angst which had built up in the first part of the season, just go out there and try and enjoy ourselves. That's the ambition that I have got for the franchise and hence why I am unapologetic and unrelenting in my belief that we need to play a braver style of play."
"When we left India (after IPL was called off due to Covid), I think everyone understood me as a coach on how I want our team to play. I am unapologetic about that as well because my job is to try and build something at KKR that is going to last far longer than I am going to last for the franchise," he added.
While IPL 2021 resumes on September 19 in Dubai with a blockbuster clash between Chennai Super Kings and defending champions Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders will begin their second phase campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore on September 20 in Abu Dhabi.
(With Agency inputs)