Kona Kona Cricket Articles

27th October 2020

Rahul Tripathi - the opener KKR should persist with

The Kolkata Knight Riders management was severely criticised when Rahul Tripathi was sent in to bat at no. 8 against the Delhi Capitals in a chase of 229 runs. KKR were struggling at 122/6 in the 14th over when Eoin Morgan (44 runs off 18 balls) and Rahul Tripathi (36 runs off 16 deliveries) fought back. But eventually, the total remained out of KKR’s hands.

Soon, Twitterati questioned KKR’s decision of sending Tripathi the opener at no. 8. The uproar on social media prompted KKR to make Tripathi open in KKR’s next game against the Chennai Super Kings, a decision which paid rich dividends.

Opening the innings with Shubman Gill, Tripathi slammed eight fours and three sixes in his knock of 81 runs, before being dismissed in the 17th over. On the back of this knock, KKR beat CSK by 10 runs.

Tripathi’s previous outings in the Indian T20 League show that he best fits in the opener’s slot. The right-hander, who was bought by now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiants for Rs. 10 lakh in the 2017 auction, was used as an opening batsman by the Steve Smith-led team. Tripathi enjoyed a good season, scoring 391 runs at a strike rate of 146.44 including two half-centuries.

An important point to be noted is that when Tripathi played for Rajasthan Royals in 2018 and 2019, his average dropped because he wasn’t consistently used as an opener.

After his half-century against CSK this season, he was once again given the opportunity to open in KKR’s next game against the Kings XI Punjab. However, Tripathi was clean bowled early in the innings. In the following game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, his batting position was shuffled once again as he was sent it to bat in the middle order.

With KKR persisting with Tom Banton and Shubman Gill as the opening pair for now, it remains to be seen if Tripathi will get to enjoy his favourite batting position in the remainder of the tournament.

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Disclaimer: This editorial content has been sourced from HoldingWilley