IPL 2013 April 2, 2013

McCullum, Pattinson to miss season opener for KKR


Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders will miss the services of New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and Australian fast bowler James Pattinson for the tournament opener against Delhi Daredevils on Wednesday. Both players are yet to join the squad, with McCullum recovering from a hamstring niggle in New Zealand while Pattinson is going through the rest period advised by Cricket Australia after the Test tour of India last month.

"Brendon is still at home as he is nursing a slight hamstring niggle. His reports are expected in the next 48 to 72 hours. There will be a further update on him once the reports are examined," the franchise stated in a release. Knight Riders play their second game on April 8.

Knight Riders would be more concerned about McCullum's fitness considering he is one of their key overseas batsmen. Last season, McCullum played 12 matches, scoring 289 runs including one half-century. But he bounced back by finishing among the top five batsmen at the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka last year. His fortunes swelled further after he was appointed New Zealand captain, replacing Ross Taylor in all forms. In the three-match T20 series, he was the second-highest runmaker behind team-mate Martin Guptill; he then finished on top of the run charts in the three-match ODI series. McCullum's most influential performance came during the drawn three-Test series. Coming in at No.6, McCullum played aggressive knocks, including three half-centuries, to finish fourth in terms of runs.

Being in such dominant form, McCullum's presence would have boosted Knight Riders' confidence immensely especially since their captain Gautam Gambhir has been struggling for form while another senior batsman, the South African allrounder Jacques Kallis, is coming out of an injury. The franchise would like McCullum to be available for selection as soon as possible, considering his stint this season is a short one, since he is scheduled to depart after the first week of May to lead New Zealand on their tour of England.

England batsman Eoin Morgan, who was bought by the franchise in the 2011 auction for $350,000, was positive about his chances in case the team management wants him to fill in for McCullum. "There's enough depth and quality in our side if we have a look at just the list of overseas players. There's Kallis, Lee, McCullum, Sunil Narine… So it's really difficult if you are to make a way for yourself in the team. Yet, I need to keep looking forward and fight for a place in the final XI," Morgan said at the team's media conference on Monday.

Meanwhile, Pattinson is likely to join the squad on April 5. It is understood that he was held back on medical advice to give him some extra recovery time after the India tour. Pattinson played three matches in the four-Test series and fetched just nine wickets, but impressed with his ability to bowl long spells on unresponsive pitches.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 3, 2013, 12:56 GMT

    Mcullum and shakib were average last year. Will not be missed. On that KKR turning pitch Mcullum was always going to be exposed. Similarly Kallis/ Morgan/ Doeshchate struggled. Narine and Gauti carried that team last year. No Gauti no KKR!

  • Abdul on April 3, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    Tendo and Morgan should be picked.

  • Halappa on April 2, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    Four foreign players for KKR should be Kallis, Ryan Ten, Narine and Morgan/Lee/Mclaren.

  • MURALI on April 2, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    well i will give kkr the edge in game 1 if unmukth does not become a big problem in the game my team for kkr is gauti(c) bisla(wk) kallis morgan ryan yusuf tiwari lee balaji narine abdulla and my dd team will be mahela(c) warner chand ojha(wk) rao j.mendis pathan morkel yadav nadeem

  • Dummy4 on April 2, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    Amazed not to find Ryan Tendo's name anywhere in the article. He is unlucky to have missed out on so many matches.

  • mijanul on April 2, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    To 'Is Vataiya': Shakib will join after May 12th. He had a surgery and now recovering, then will join BD team at Zimbabwe.

  • Dummy4 on April 2, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    @Nagraj Gollapudi

    When did Pattinson bowled long spells?? He hardly bowls 4-5 overs in a single go.

  • Dummy4 on April 2, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    kkr. (probable) Manvinder Bisla (wk) , Gautam Gambhir (c) , Jacques Kallis , Manoj Tiwary , Yusuf Pathan , Shakib Al Hasan , Debabrata Das , Rajat Bhatia , Sunil Narine , Brett Lee , Lakshmipathy Balaji

    d.Daredevils, (probable) David Warner , Virender Sehwag , Unmukt Chand , Mahela Jayawardene (c) , Manprit Juneja , Irfan Pathan , Naman Ojha (wk) , Andre Russell , Venugopal Rao , Umesh Yadav , Morne Morkel

  • Dummy4 on April 2, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    it will very though for kkr to retain the titles without the life mccullam and shakib{who willl be unaviable for most of the matches}\