Kolkata v Mumbai, IPL 2010, Kolkata April 20, 2010

Kolkata fail to live up to promise

Cricinfo staff
In a league of inconsistent teams, Kolkata were punished because their troughs tended to be so much deeper than everyone else's
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MS Dhoni's massive six-hitting half a country away may have all but ended Kolkata Knight Riders' chances of making the semi-finals, but the spectators still turned up in their thousands at the Eden Gardens on Monday evening, braving searing summer heat and oppressive humidity. Some came wearing the old black shirt, others were in the new purple one; some had the team logo painted on their faces, while others walked along bemoaning the loss to Kings XI Punjab that had dealt such a crippling blow to their hopes of progress.

After what had transpired outside the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday, getting inside the ground was no stroll either. Even those with media credentials had their bags checked four or five times, and there were nervous whinnying police horses to get past before the gates could be glimpsed. Inside, with two of the bigger stands yet to be rebuilt before the World Cup next year, there were a few empty spaces.

A season that had begun so promisingly had been pretty much ended by a man who first caught the eye with his big-hitting in Kolkata's club cricket. The sense of anticlimax intensified with the announcement of the Mumbai Indians team. No Sachin Tendulkar, no Kieron Pollard, no Lasith Malinga, no Harbhajan Singh, no Zaheer Khan. Dwayne Bravo was captain.

For Kolkata to have made the last four, they would have needed to bat first and win by close to 175 runs. When they lost the toss, even that possibility, slim though it was, was extinguished. It didn't lessen the noise though, and a couple of the more inexperienced Mumbai players seemed quite unnerved by the atmosphere.

Saurabh Tiwary and Ambati Rayudu , who had started the season so well, were unfazed but the makeshift XI lost too many wickets at crucial times. Each wicket was cheered, but the biggest applause of the night was reserved for Sourav Ganguly, who had made something of a habit of taking stunning catches this season. The latest grab at midwicket left him winded, but it epitomised a committed effort that belied their position in the lower reaches of the table.

With the bat, Ganguly was no less a factor, smacking Ali Murtaza for a six in the opening over. This was a chase devoid of drama and after a while even the crowd lost its fizz. It would rouse itself each time Ganguly or Brendon McCullum found the rope, but most had probably slipped into what-might-have-been mode.

Their first victory in six attempts against Mumbai was clinched with 15 balls to spare but by then Ganguly had departed, miscuing one to backward point. Over the past few days, there have been some media reports suggesting he could be a target for the new Sahara-owned Pune franchise and a fresh auction is scheduled for September or October. If this was Ganguly's last act in a Kolkata jersey, it was a winning one.

Once the parties are over and reflection takes hold, Kolkata will reflect on a season that was a massive improvement on last year's joke, but still left them as the only franchise not to make a semi-final. Ganguly finished with 493 runs, Murali Kartik was easily the pick of the Indian spinners, and Ashok Dinda appeared to regain the spark that had pushed him to the fringes of national selection in 2008.

Shane Bond didn't take as many wickets as some might have hoped, and the injury to Charl Langeveldt was a real blow, but Kolkata were let down by underwhelming displays from Chris Gayle and McCullum when the stakes were most high. Ishant Sharma's descent from pace-bowling hope to buffet bowler was just as damaging, and the franchise will hope Jaidev Unadkat's career follows a different trajectory.

In the end, Kolkata finished as one of six teams with at least seven wins to their name. The net run-rate though was beyond redemption, stuck in the minuses as a result of some crushing defeats. Afterwards, Ganguly spoke of the failure to defend 200 against Kings XI and the poor batting in the second half of an innings in Bangalore. In a league of inconsistent teams, Kolkata were punished because their troughs tended to be so much deeper than everyone else's.

With the clock moving towards midnight, they streamed out quietly, seeking the buses, trains and cabs that would take them home. Up above Gate 1, a billboard had the team's motto: Miles to Go, Promises to Keep. The first part was depressingly true. The second, despite Ganguly's sterling efforts and the improvements supervised by Dav Whatmore, wasn't.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | April 22, 2010, 22:51 GMT

    Nobody expected it from KKR.

  • POSTED BY prakshar on | April 21, 2010, 11:07 GMT

    Please stop blaming Ganguly for these loss. He is the only consistant batsmen in the tournament for KKR. He has lifted KKR from deep level to this stage. He is good in fielding too. Tendulkar showed his wonderful batting this season but he has been supported by local players like s.tiwary, rayudu and also by other foreign players like pollard, duminy. Also the bowling of Mumbai is far more excellent by khan,harbhajan etc. But what is the condition for kKR, ganguly has not got the consistent support from the local as well as foreign players. Bowling is the very poor stuff as compared to other teams in this season for KKR. The another team to suffer a heavy loss in this regard is CSK. Even CSK showed poor performance until the arrival of Bollinger. Only after consistent performance of bollinger and ashwin they were into semis now. Even though i was one of the fan who expected much more from them and but in vain. He s perfect skipper for KKR and i need him to lead KKR for victory for 100%

  • POSTED BY anonymousfan on | April 21, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    I thought cricket is a simple game where you need to bat , bowl and field well. Also i used to think , a captain is only as good as his team. So i don't understand what is reason for the huge fuss over Sourav Ganguly's performance. He did bat and field quite well. Or is T20 such a complicated game that something like a magic wand has to be waved by the captain ? KKR players and their captain tried hard but it was not enough. So they need to try harder next time. Its as simple as that. They did way better than last time though. And to all the pundits baying for Ganguly's blood, i say why don't you try out for KKR trials next year if you think you understand the game better than him.

  • POSTED BY on | April 21, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    Continued.. That too because of the local players performance, he hasn't done anything exceptional to lead the side. But look at ganguly, he has lead the team, stared on 5 wins to lead the team to victory. Also he has done great things on the field. People say that he as taken credit for victory and did put the blame when they lost. Can you actually prove this? He did go a bit overboard on one presentation, but that was the desperation, it was not really to put blame, but to tell them that they need to perform. Also he has never taken any credit, he never went there and said, i did miracles to win the match. All matches they won, he said, it was all because of players who did good that day. He spoke about gayle, Dinda, Unadkat, Pujara, Karthik. He has almost spoke of everyone. What others have done different than ganguly, when you say, warne and Tendulkar are different can you tell me what have they done different? They just speak the same, only part is they are more diplomatic.

  • POSTED BY on | April 21, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    I don't think everyone has to go all out on Ganguly for just losing. Also people need to understand that he captained KKR for only 2 seasons. The second season was a complete disaster because of Mcullum. Also the third season was a big turn down by all those big names. Much was expected out of Gayle, Mucullum and Bond, but none lived to their reputation. Gayle only got 2 half century in the whole series and mucullum had only 1 to his name. So that clearly tells the story for the loss. Also the bowling department did a great favor to teams performance. All names, Ishant Sharma, bond, Mendis, none shined. They couldn't even get make 10 wickets, while other teams atleast had 2 people closing to 15 wickets. So its not really a good habit to always point fingers at Ganguly. Ganguly played 2 seasons as captain and couldn't make to semis, the same goes for Tendulkar as well, he has captained 2 versions and didn't get it semis. This is the third time and he has taken it to the semis, that too

  • POSTED BY on | April 21, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    Give it time, I am sure reports of a rift would begin circulating, because given the profile of the KKR overseas players, they would not put up with Ganguly's attitude and leadership style, given that he is a has been, along with what had transpired with the previous coach... Tell Ganguly to take a rest for 2011, I assure you there will be a much better persformance. There's is no way Ganguly should have been made captain of current players... Sorry, but it is the truth!

  • POSTED BY on | April 21, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    ikr4m.17, ganguly was not captain last time. and under him, despite the eventual disappointment, the team came miles ahead of last year's pitiful showing.

  • POSTED BY nastyharish on | April 21, 2010, 4:52 GMT

    Ha ha who believes in fake promises of Dada & SRK i knew that they will never able to make semifinals actually they performed better what they deserved with dada in the team.

  • POSTED BY dkrk on | April 21, 2010, 4:11 GMT

    I believe KKR played far better than the last two seasons and just missed out the semis bcoz of the NRR. They were as gd as DD, CSK and RCB. Agreed that they were inconsistent, but atleast they won 7 out of 14 matches. About Ganguly, well he can't be called selfish bcoz out of the 7 wins, Ganguly helped the team to 4 wins. He batted well, being the third highest run-getter in the IPL and fielded like he has never before. He is the ideal captain for a team that has a majority of inexperienced and young players. Kolkata is unlucky due to the Punjab defeat where they were undone by Jayawardene, out of nowhere. I believe they can enter the semis next year, if they are targetting the auction in Sept. Watch out for youngsters like Tiwary and Unadkat who have been the finds of the tournament!

  • POSTED BY KirGop on | April 21, 2010, 0:57 GMT

    I dont think too many folks see KKR as doing a lot better than they deserved to. They had these 2 bonus wins against Deccan, which were more due to deccan losing the matches than KKR winning them. That effectively made them the contenders and made Deccan sweat their way thru to the semis. Take these out, and you have a hopeless campaign. All three IPL's combined, KKR is the unquestioned hopeless team.

    Be thankful for how far KKR made it. They wont be this lucky next year unless something changes.

  • POSTED BY on | April 22, 2010, 22:51 GMT

    Nobody expected it from KKR.

  • POSTED BY prakshar on | April 21, 2010, 11:07 GMT

    Please stop blaming Ganguly for these loss. He is the only consistant batsmen in the tournament for KKR. He has lifted KKR from deep level to this stage. He is good in fielding too. Tendulkar showed his wonderful batting this season but he has been supported by local players like s.tiwary, rayudu and also by other foreign players like pollard, duminy. Also the bowling of Mumbai is far more excellent by khan,harbhajan etc. But what is the condition for kKR, ganguly has not got the consistent support from the local as well as foreign players. Bowling is the very poor stuff as compared to other teams in this season for KKR. The another team to suffer a heavy loss in this regard is CSK. Even CSK showed poor performance until the arrival of Bollinger. Only after consistent performance of bollinger and ashwin they were into semis now. Even though i was one of the fan who expected much more from them and but in vain. He s perfect skipper for KKR and i need him to lead KKR for victory for 100%

  • POSTED BY anonymousfan on | April 21, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    I thought cricket is a simple game where you need to bat , bowl and field well. Also i used to think , a captain is only as good as his team. So i don't understand what is reason for the huge fuss over Sourav Ganguly's performance. He did bat and field quite well. Or is T20 such a complicated game that something like a magic wand has to be waved by the captain ? KKR players and their captain tried hard but it was not enough. So they need to try harder next time. Its as simple as that. They did way better than last time though. And to all the pundits baying for Ganguly's blood, i say why don't you try out for KKR trials next year if you think you understand the game better than him.

  • POSTED BY on | April 21, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    Continued.. That too because of the local players performance, he hasn't done anything exceptional to lead the side. But look at ganguly, he has lead the team, stared on 5 wins to lead the team to victory. Also he has done great things on the field. People say that he as taken credit for victory and did put the blame when they lost. Can you actually prove this? He did go a bit overboard on one presentation, but that was the desperation, it was not really to put blame, but to tell them that they need to perform. Also he has never taken any credit, he never went there and said, i did miracles to win the match. All matches they won, he said, it was all because of players who did good that day. He spoke about gayle, Dinda, Unadkat, Pujara, Karthik. He has almost spoke of everyone. What others have done different than ganguly, when you say, warne and Tendulkar are different can you tell me what have they done different? They just speak the same, only part is they are more diplomatic.

  • POSTED BY on | April 21, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    I don't think everyone has to go all out on Ganguly for just losing. Also people need to understand that he captained KKR for only 2 seasons. The second season was a complete disaster because of Mcullum. Also the third season was a big turn down by all those big names. Much was expected out of Gayle, Mucullum and Bond, but none lived to their reputation. Gayle only got 2 half century in the whole series and mucullum had only 1 to his name. So that clearly tells the story for the loss. Also the bowling department did a great favor to teams performance. All names, Ishant Sharma, bond, Mendis, none shined. They couldn't even get make 10 wickets, while other teams atleast had 2 people closing to 15 wickets. So its not really a good habit to always point fingers at Ganguly. Ganguly played 2 seasons as captain and couldn't make to semis, the same goes for Tendulkar as well, he has captained 2 versions and didn't get it semis. This is the third time and he has taken it to the semis, that too

  • POSTED BY on | April 21, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    Give it time, I am sure reports of a rift would begin circulating, because given the profile of the KKR overseas players, they would not put up with Ganguly's attitude and leadership style, given that he is a has been, along with what had transpired with the previous coach... Tell Ganguly to take a rest for 2011, I assure you there will be a much better persformance. There's is no way Ganguly should have been made captain of current players... Sorry, but it is the truth!

  • POSTED BY on | April 21, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    ikr4m.17, ganguly was not captain last time. and under him, despite the eventual disappointment, the team came miles ahead of last year's pitiful showing.

  • POSTED BY nastyharish on | April 21, 2010, 4:52 GMT

    Ha ha who believes in fake promises of Dada & SRK i knew that they will never able to make semifinals actually they performed better what they deserved with dada in the team.

  • POSTED BY dkrk on | April 21, 2010, 4:11 GMT

    I believe KKR played far better than the last two seasons and just missed out the semis bcoz of the NRR. They were as gd as DD, CSK and RCB. Agreed that they were inconsistent, but atleast they won 7 out of 14 matches. About Ganguly, well he can't be called selfish bcoz out of the 7 wins, Ganguly helped the team to 4 wins. He batted well, being the third highest run-getter in the IPL and fielded like he has never before. He is the ideal captain for a team that has a majority of inexperienced and young players. Kolkata is unlucky due to the Punjab defeat where they were undone by Jayawardene, out of nowhere. I believe they can enter the semis next year, if they are targetting the auction in Sept. Watch out for youngsters like Tiwary and Unadkat who have been the finds of the tournament!

  • POSTED BY KirGop on | April 21, 2010, 0:57 GMT

    I dont think too many folks see KKR as doing a lot better than they deserved to. They had these 2 bonus wins against Deccan, which were more due to deccan losing the matches than KKR winning them. That effectively made them the contenders and made Deccan sweat their way thru to the semis. Take these out, and you have a hopeless campaign. All three IPL's combined, KKR is the unquestioned hopeless team.

    Be thankful for how far KKR made it. They wont be this lucky next year unless something changes.

  • POSTED BY ikr4m.17 on | April 21, 2010, 0:49 GMT

    KKR is the most hyped up team in IPL. Failed to perform in all 3 tournaments and I think its time for them to focus on their cricket. Ganguly is such a fail captain, its time for them to give someone else a chance because for 3 IPL tournanments, he hasnt brought his team to semis which clearly shows how much he sucks in captaincy.

  • POSTED BY Rex_Y on | April 21, 2010, 0:13 GMT

    I do not understand why KKR is so hurt by Punjabs loss. Had punjab won KKR would still be out because Delhi would go thourhg.

    Even assuming that Ganguly is hurt by Deccans win against Delhi. In which case if Deccan lost to Delhi. Deccan would still be through because of net runrate.

  • POSTED BY sub2010 on | April 20, 2010, 21:55 GMT

    KKR are out 'cos of Punjab. Punjab had no business winning the match they id against us, and no business losing the one they did against chennai. Jayvardane batted out of his skin (even by his own high standards) and pathan bowled badly - even by his normally lousy standards. Also had the dropped catches of mahela ( by murali) and of abie morkel and dhoni (pathan and sangakara) actually been taken things would have been different. we also threw the match away against bangalore. mcullum, gayle ajanta mendis and bond were all disappointing - our entire foreign contingent apart from angelo mathews.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | April 20, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    Ganguly always going to put himself and his interest above team goals. That is the problem. He want to show he is a good t20 player by playing in first 6 overs with 117% strike rate. He wants to captain but he should have given up the opening spot to Vignesh. He just missed the boat. I think ganguly did something good but more wrong. it is like this ganguly team wins , it is all because of him but if his team loses , it is because of everyone else.

    Ganguly will never take full responsibility for the loss as much as win. If they win he takes full credit. Gilchrist and warne give credit to his players and take full responsibilty for the loss. That is real captaincy.

    KKR is cursed as long as he is the captain. He really should be some kind of General Manager of cricket operations of KKR. He can be a coach because he can keep people in good spirits.

  • POSTED BY on | April 20, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    God nos why everyone is blaming ganguly. He scored highest number of runs and yet he gets blamed for the failure.His strike rate is lil worse den dat of Kallis but he is called a match winner ..Thats because Its a team game where everyone has to play thier roles .. Ganguly alone cant do evrything. But he proves again that he is a born fighter by being awarded MoM in 3 matches.. Was outstanding on the field as well.. Still he gets blamed. Why r Gayle,McCallum,Hussey being paid so much if dey cant perform .. Lets face the truth .. When KKR wins its not Ganguly alone who wins it .. Its the whole team that wins .. N d Same thing applies when dey lose as well.. n Lets leave alone Ganguly atleast if you cant show d respect for Indai's Greatest Captain n Best Left handed batsman ever ..

  • POSTED BY gnat9 on | April 20, 2010, 17:17 GMT

    I am unable to figure out why everyone considers the Kolkata team promising! Kolkata and Punjab are the most hyped up teams, and not surprisingly, they have been the worst performers in all the three editions of IPL held so far. KKR and KXIP will do well to take a leaf out of the Deccan Chargers book. Nobody thought that DC would enter the semis once again, despite the fact that they are the defending champions. They have again proved everyone wrong and I'll put my money on DC winning even this year's IPL. KKR and KXIP need to focus on their game and not get carried away by all the hot air that everyone is blowing at them.

  • POSTED BY andrehitower on | April 20, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    Lets face it, KKR were far better than last year and were just one win away/run rate from making the semis so liten up. Also mccullum only played 5 games, yet people are criticizing him? He came strait from a test match against Australia. He even top scored in 2 of them! The unfortunate thing in this years Ipl were the wickets werent great wickets for hitters like gayle, mccullum, Dilshan in the other hitters. They were either slow or swung alot. Thats why you saw the more test -like batsmen like Jacques Kallis prospering. The wicket they played on yesterday was terrible for t20. I also think the mgmt were outta their minds leaving Bond out of so many games, sure he didnt take that many wickets but he was economical and offers sheer pace and experience. I think Kolkata have a good nucleus of players in Gayle, Mccullum, Ganguly, kartik, Bond. They needed Brad Hodge in there as he can soldify if the big hitters get out cheaply. They need maby 1 mre star bat, and better suport bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Tiptop32 on | April 20, 2010, 14:42 GMT

    Fantastic performance by Ganguly. Slaps on the faces of hard core Ganguly critics. I love Ganguly very much for the very fact that he always proves his critics wrong time and again by performance. It is high time cricinfo authors learns to recognise the efforts of Indian stalwart to single handedly carry on the expectations of a team on his shoulder. KKR should be extremely careful in next year auction. Instead of going for big names go for consistent players who can regularly deliver not once in a blue moon. Enough of McCullum, Gayle, Hussey. All of them failed badly time and again. McCullum is also a failure in 2009 also. Select good domestic players who can deliver consistently. There should be almost zero dependency on foreign players, since their availability is a question mark and also only 4 can play at a time. The team should be packed with sold domestic talents. Ganguly deserve to play in semi-final but his team mates denied him yet again. East or west Ganguly is the best.

  • POSTED BY jackie786 on | April 20, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Too much has been made out of Sourav Ganguly. He is actually the real reason why KKR has not even come to the semifinals in all the 3 IPL seasons. It is like the hidden costs. You will never know why they are losing but Ganguly is the real culprit as he plays only for himself. Look at his strike rate. Even though he scored more than 400 runs his strike rate is a horrible 117 which is pathetic considering if you are an opener. Which means Ganguly did not score too many in the first 6 overs of the matches which is actually easier for batsmen due to the field restrictions. We all blame John Buchanan, Shahrukh Khan, Wasim Akram but the real thief is the captain himself Ganguly who should be thrown out from the team. Look at Adam Gilchrist of the Deccan Chargers. After finishing last in the first IPL, they won the title the next year. That is what is real captaincy is all about. And look at Ganguly's KKR. Their best performance has been this year and that is sixth. Shame on you Ganguly.

  • POSTED BY Philip_Gnana on | April 20, 2010, 14:22 GMT

    Ganguly kept things until the end. He should have been in the fore front ticking up the run rate. He made things difficult for those who followed. Blaming the other when things went wrong is no excuse. You need to have super runrate and a decent average. As a captain some of his decisions have been hard to understand. Ganguly should have been playing the hitters role as opener. If he wanted to play the holding role then, that should have been down the order at around 4-6 not at 1 & 2. Seeing McCallum coming down the order was insane beyond belief. All bowlers have been taken to the cleaners at the death not just the KKRs. You have to put the runs on the board. The table does not lie. Results are not decided just on one match so do not kid yourself. You make a match important because you did not perform in the previous matches. Punjab had a good batting side it was the unrest inthe team that casued their downfall. KKR - just needed to deliver. Philip Gnana, New Malden, Surrey.

  • POSTED BY Nitold123 on | April 20, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    I think KKR lost a few crucial moments in some games.Whether it was Dhoni's stumping early on in the home match v CSK or Jayawardene's catch or the harakiri committed by the middle order against RCB or Sachin's dolly in the first match v MI. I am not trying to relive "Butterfly effect";nonetheless these were crucial not only in the context of winning but also NRR.As regards selection, it is sometimes a lottery to play or not play certain players with many (even the "so-called")good names at disposal. But not playing 007 in Blore was strange as he was clearly a horse for that course.The bowling lineup against CSK in the next game was appalling. On performance,only Dada & in the 2nd half, Dinda were consistent to a decent extent. Lack of consistency dogged them right through & some of the big buys like Bond, Baz & Gayle were not impactful when it mattered.The difference betn teams on paper is so miniscule that it really comes down to consistency & winning/not losing a few crunch moments.

  • POSTED BY nyallj on | April 20, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    Considering that Chris Gayle only played 9 matches (while the top scorers above him had 14 each), and McCullum 2, I totally disagree with the part of them not playing well. Everybody seems to forget this concept began as an Indian tournament with foreignors there to to help the Indians benefit. All of a sudden, if the foreignors don't do well (and Gayle did better than most, being in the top 20 batsmen of IPL so far) nobody remembers that Indians are in the teams too! Indians need to grow up, swallow the bitters, and acknowledge the fact that while their players are developing, they can't blame the foreignors for all the failures. As a matter of fact, if they had good enough Indian players, then the foreignors would be fighting to get a pick, and isn't that the way it should be. WI die-hard fan.

  • POSTED BY manasvi_lingam on | April 20, 2010, 13:32 GMT

    Most of the Indian players did not perform well - Manoj Tiwary played well in a couple of matches and Pujara showed some promise but the rest were awful. And both Bond and Gayle underperformed. Dada did well as a batsman and as a fielder, but his captaincy should have been better in picking the right players for the right matches.

    Murali Kartik the best Indian spinner on view? Hellooo... What about Ojha, Ashwin and Mishra?

  • POSTED BY Kumar_cricket on | April 20, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    Very much improved performance from KKR in IPL3 compared to eariler season and credit goes to DADA . If KKR was led any other than DADA then they might be same last years ranking . I think Kapil dev and Sourav ganguly are the best captains in India.Both led us to world cup final of course one won the world cup .

  • POSTED BY davedave on | April 20, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    Mr F. The reason why I would like to see mumbai because they are the best IPL team that has won most of the matches. For Deccan as you said it is pressure that counts they had to win 5 in a row to be in the semi finals that was what exactly they have done and I think no team has won 5 in a row this year. If you except chennai super kings vs royal challengers then it is your wish. Let we see who would make the finals probaly very good captains can make finals and the best captain will win the cup for his team.

  • POSTED BY wickedballs on | April 20, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    While it is interesting to read all the comments attached to the different articles published, I am begining to find the continual bigotry towards foreign players (and commentators) a bit over the top. Being a non-national living in a different country (Ireland) I resent the blaming of foreigners as the course of all problems. The reason I enjoy watching IPL so much is because of all the different countries that are represented, it would be a very poor competion indeed if only indians cricketers were on show.

  • POSTED BY eZoha on | April 20, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    @Gagg - Yes, McCullum got 45 in a losing match and run-a-ball half century in a dead rubber (already won by the bowlers) with 6, 0, 6 in other three crucial matches. None of them were match winning contributions. Considering his recent form in international cricket, everyone expected him to dominate in the later stages of IPL3. I am kinda fan of him, wants him to hit lots of sixes, but his scoring technique seems to be really struggling in the slow pitches of India.

  • POSTED BY Guruprasad.S on | April 20, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    The points table shows KKR with the same number of points as RCB, DD and CSK. But the inability of KKR to win important matches, and pressure matches (against RCB and CSK) cost them in the end. KKR didnt win a single match by chasing a stiff target. Also, as a team and franchise, KKR is extremely hyped up. And I feel the players themselves tend to believe in the hype. I am sick of SRK's statements, and hope that he keeps his trap shut on twitter. KKR should cultivate work culture instead of party culture. Not much is wrong with KKR team personnel and selection. Although Ganguly has contributed with his batting and captaincy, he must go now. He has had his chances (two terms) and he has failed. Next year, he will be older and his fitness and reflexes will have reduced, if not hunger. The problem is, owner SRK doesnt have guts to ask Ganguly to quit captaincy. And the fanatic KKR fans will not allow Ganguly to be removed/replaced. Which suits Ganguly fine. But KKR will suffer again.

  • POSTED BY on | April 20, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    dada is great .. he batted well.. his fielding is excellent.. dada is great..

  • POSTED BY amyt007 on | April 20, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    the author hs hit d nail on its head..........kkr ws nt a bad team.......d 2 reasns fr nt mkin to semis were.........1. when they won they wr nt desprte to up the rate so as to better the net run rate............2. kkr lost badly everytime it lost e.g chennai,bangalore,kings won with overs to spare..................both these factors nt only made its nrr bad............bt also made nrr better for teams playin agnst kkr..........at d end 6 teams ended on 14 points

  • POSTED BY on | April 20, 2010, 11:46 GMT

    now mr davedave ganguly has been terrific now what makes you say that csk and rcb dont deserve to win it what happens under pressure that counts . i expect a rcb csk final . But a team that hasnt made the semis three years in a row is a failure

  • POSTED BY Ayyaz.Azeem on | April 20, 2010, 11:44 GMT

    with the inclusion of wasim akram as a bowling coach...KKR has a better results this season... comparing with first season (6 wins 8 losses) and season 2 (i guess 3 wins and 11 losses) the result in season 3 (7 wins 7 losses) was much improved performance... although the team relaxed in a few crutial matches that turned the tide.... hopefully some day some how SRK team will rule like he do..... love u SRK.... SRK plz do some good movies with good songs... plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • POSTED BY Shilpa2701 on | April 20, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    Hi dada . all th versy best for future

  • POSTED BY nayakpinku on | April 20, 2010, 11:07 GMT

    DADA doesn't have the enthu and that aggression to lead a team that he had some 5 years ago. I'm sure if he moves out of the KKR team next year, definitely the KKR will be in semis in next version of IPL. GOD help PUNE team(if DADA is going there)

  • POSTED BY RogerC on | April 20, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    KKR - Sack Ganguly and get Dhoni in next auction.

  • POSTED BY StevieS on | April 20, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    eZoha McCullum only played 5 games and got the highest score for the KKR in 2 of them 5 games.

  • POSTED BY youfoundme on | April 20, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    The only Indian players that did any justice were Ganguly, Dinda and Kartik, the rest were utter crap. Gayle played poorly, and the decision to not play Hussey and Bond at times left big question marks for me over the team management. Matthews was alright, but it would have been better if Hodge was in his place. McCullum played fairly well, going from Test mode to T20 mode isn't easy - even for an explosive batsmen such as his caliber. KKR need a big face lift, and maybe look to cut most if not all of the Indian players apart from Ganguly, Dinda, Kartik and Sharma (providing that he grows as a world class bowler). My KKR Team: McCullum, Ganguly, Tiwary, Hodge, Pujara, Hussey, Saha, Kartik, Dinda, Bond, Sharma.

  • POSTED BY Maverick23 on | April 20, 2010, 9:43 GMT

    I think Kolkata has a decent team, which needs a few tweeks here and there. Not sure if they will be able to keep the current team for the next auction. They have a decent foreign recruits, just that this year they couldnt perform well. What they need is have better Indian players (both bowling and batting). They need a couple of players who are in the current Indian playing 11 (like Raina, Sehwag, Yuvraj) and drop Agarkar, Ishant and try and bring in Praveen Kumar or Zaheer Khan. Lets see what we get for the next auction. However, I still feel they should either try to bring someone like Dhoni and make him the captain or retain Dada. Kolkata needs a captain who has the X-factor besides someone who is from the eastern part of India if not Kolkata

  • POSTED BY khmayecha on | April 20, 2010, 9:23 GMT

    Its easy to say drop this one and take this one. T20 (esp. IPL) has many facets for results where talent, technique and determination to win are not the only criteria. Unfortunately for fans of KKR, Ganguly possesses ONLY these cricketing talents. Tap the bookies and tell them to bet on KKR - and then see how KKR lifts the cup !!!! Maybe Sharukh and Ganguly are too clean for this format and for Lalit Modi. Even if KKR has a day off and scores only 100, the bookies can and will make sure the other team scores anywhere between 92-99 so that they can make a kill there as well. The best way to enjoy T20 IPL is just to see good players bat and good bowlers bowl their hearts out. Dont bother with the results and who lifts the cup....If gayle, mccullum or Dada scores a gr8 50 or 100 - just enjoy the innings - not the result of the match. Period.

  • POSTED BY himsez on | April 20, 2010, 9:09 GMT

    KKR team selection is based on relationships with the captain. Very little method is put into the selection. Why should you not use Brendon MC as wk in all his games when he was available.he is not even burdened with captains role. is Saha so great that he was included as batsmen in recent ODI. just one back ago he was dropped and mccullum was keeping wickets.

    If Gilly can do it so can he. Second is Ajit Agarkar no matter what one says he gives away a lot of runs in his second spells. he is like the opponent members trump card. they know more than 30 runs are fixed in his balance 2 overs. if he is included in the side its only because of Ganguly. He should bowl him all his overs in one go if he is selected.

    Finally comparing Kallis run rate with dada does not make sense. if Kallis is slow then his team has big hitters down. His role is different. In KKR ganguly too is expected to hit big runs.

    Its already been 3 editions where they have not even performed well

  • POSTED BY on | April 20, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    Dada Dada Dada.We all love you more than any one else.Its so sad to see DADA leading 10 useless players .One man army Dada.Both International and domestic players played uselessly this year for KKR.Otherwise Had KKR gne thru given the FORM OF DADA ,KKR wud have been winners of IPL3.Dada please continue playing for next 10 years.

    And hate commentators for always passing biased comments against Sourav.Wonder when these atrocities will stop.Sachin is very lucky to have such great talent in his team.Sourav directly contributed to 6 out of 7 wins for KKR.Still he is not nominated for best batsman in IPL 3 .Shame on Modi

  • POSTED BY muski on | April 20, 2010, 8:40 GMT

    SRK-We admire ur spirits buddy. You have done all you could. All is not lost. Try and Try again till u succeed. However, as they say, never enter into a business for which you are at the mercy of your professional managers. Buchanan wrecked havoc last year. What more can guys like Whatmore teach these cricketers. Get some level headed Ex- cricketers who will help you in the auction to pick up the best- need not be the most expensive ones as these 3 years must have taught you. The days of doing favours to IPL Governing council members are over and certainly you are not obligated to find slots for their kids in your team. You can continue to ask them to mind their business as you said earlier. Based on the Heroics of Dada in this edition, you could certainly have a pact with him on a year to year basis. He is an aggressive leader and in the worst case scenario would make a good non playing captain. Hold on to Wasim as he has more to reveal to your bowlers. All the best for Season4.

  • POSTED BY davedave on | April 20, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    It hurts Dada no doubt he played extremely well, fielded well but his team mates let him down. This time he has scored nearly 500 runs and still biased people and commetrators talk about his strike rate but who cares? What I would say to those people is see chennai super kings and bangalore team they were too good on the paper with their strong batting and bowling line up prior to the tournament but they were not consistent as well they also won 7 matches each like knight riders only run rate took them to the semifinals. Only mumbai showed consistency, even Deccan the winner of 2009 struggled but won 5 matches in a row. I think either mumbai or deccan deserve to win this time.

  • POSTED BY MozCricket on | April 20, 2010, 8:29 GMT

    People have a very short memory, Ganguly had a pretty poor start and was very slow to get going (3-4 matches). In fact he was almost sad to watch in those early efforts, he looked really out of form (not surprising given he is not playing so much anymore). As has been said neither Gayle or McCullum joined until later. I think it was the hiome grown players that let the KKR down. Most of the other franchises have unknown guys pitching in matching winning performances, KKR it seems to be rely on Dada or the foreigners...........

  • POSTED BY SecondSubstitute on | April 20, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    First of all, I just can't understand when the ITV commentators will forget those few passages from the Holy Flintof Bible of Ganguly the Rude! It probably matters squat what some of these 'couldn't make it IPL's' have to say, but going by the supporter's vocal power, Ganguly did great, and Kolkata for the first time in three years showed some potential. Hopefully next year there would be a few more good local players other than Dinda and Kartik (and occassionally Pujara and Tiwary)! Want an auction wishlist anyone :o)!

  • POSTED BY plow on | April 20, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    A bit rough asking more from McCullam when he was on international duty for more than half of the tournament..

    Gayle did play poorly, I expected way more from him.

    Bond did ok, his wicket count was down but his economy was good, and considering he bowls the death overs I think he did well, the indian tracks dont assist seamers, so I reckon he earnt his keep easily.

    Kolkata need a decent spinner, Mendis.. whats happened with him? he was supposed to be the new up and coming amazing thing but now is just right arm smorgasboard. wasn't selected for most games cos he kept getitng tonked.

    Once Gayle fires and Kolkata get a better spinner (maybe Gayle should bowl more?) and McCullam can be there for a whole season things will improve for KKR.

    I thought Ganguly did well and hope he stays on, he's perfect in the top... next year with some fine tuning it will be better.

  • POSTED BY on | April 20, 2010, 8:10 GMT

    I think the main issue plaguing KKR's performance in the last 3 IPLs was the quality of the domestic players. Once the big 3 (Gayle, Ganguly, Mccullum) got out, there is no one to maintain the tempo. KKR needs a total overhaul next year. We need 3-4 prolific scorers in domestic circuit apart from a few hard hitting overseas players. Last time Kolkata went for superstars and big names as their foreign recruit, spending crores of money without getting the desired performance. This time possibly they would be more prudent. Further, if Ganguly shifts to Sahara's Pune then I can bet all of Kolkata's allegiance would shift to whichever team Ganguly plays for. It may spell doom for KKR as well. Ganguly is a pride of the Bengalis and SRK should understand that he is required at the helm of KKR. Performance-wise as well he won the maximum matches for KKR (of whatever little they won in last 3 IPLs).

  • POSTED BY on | April 20, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    KKR needs to identify the reasons why their troughs are bigger than the other's.

  • POSTED BY eZoha on | April 20, 2010, 7:40 GMT

    At last we have an article not criticizing Ganguly's strike rate and rightly saying that overseas stars players have underperformed. Some sanity, finally. Good to see! @HundredPercentBarcelonista - Could you help us remember any significant contribution by McCullum except that century in the first match of season 1?

  • POSTED BY Partha25 on | April 20, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    Its a shame that team lead by best captain of the IPL can't make it to the semis. To me Ganguly was by far the best captain of the IPL. Lead from the front almost every aspects of the game. His few stunning catches goes to show still what a skillful filder he is! Two reasons behind the scene. Big overseas players like Gayle,macullum and devid hussy didnt perform even any way near to their potentials and their local players were little lack of talent comparing to others. More interestingly team lead by another pretty good captain in the form of shane warne cant make it to the semis either. He was under performer though. Lets see which team win the title.

  • POSTED BY raj2426 on | April 20, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    Remove the following players from KKR as soon as possible: Agarkar Ishant Mccullum Hodge Pujara Mendis Karthik(catch miss of jayawardhane in Punjab match)

    Retain these players at any cost: Dada Gayle Unadkat Abdulla mathews Dinda Bond manoj wridhdhi

    Also we can look for better replacement for Hussey,Shah,langvelt,

  • POSTED BY on | April 20, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Such a good team that promised so much should have delivered this year. Their marquee player, Baz McCullum only managed 5 games because of international commitments and when he arrived management made a big mistake in batting him in three, he should have been opening from the start. Chris Gayle had too much pressure on to perform, he should of had the license to go out and smack it, as he does for the Windies. The KKR indian players under performed yet again, and the bowlers failed to take wickets when needed. Shane Bond got dropped half way through the season even though he didnt have a bad game. Some very weird things.

  • POSTED BY coolvis on | April 20, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    next year buys : one from raina, rohit, pathan

  • POSTED BY mike5181 on | April 20, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    Their indian players suck! and mccullem only played 5 games.....thats why they were average as.

  • POSTED BY Rajesh. on | April 20, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    I would say Anil Kumble is still the pick of the Indian spinners thought Kartik wasn't far behind.......... and even in a losing cause Saurav Ganguly did prove a point or two to his critics, not just by scoring runs but more surprisingly by taking some stunning catches... not bad for a old fella !! But in the end KKR still seemed a side owned by a 'reel hero' rather than a real hero. So it was no wonder the side was associated with lot of hype rather than substance....

  • POSTED BY harrynz on | April 20, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    the commentators moaning about gangulis strike rate got heir answer yesterday. ball for ball he did better than Mcullum. mediocre who have become more mediocre commentators like Jeremy Coney, Dominic Cork were constantly moaning about Sourav's stike rate. Kallis was 119 and Gangul was 117strike rate before yesterday. Kallis has Utappa, Dravid and Ross Taylor scoring fast and big. Gaguli had no foreign player playing well. Even Sashtri was stupidly blaming local players whereas it is the foreign players who have under performed. All these foreign commentators cant tolerate Ganguli. But in the end they have to collectivley eat their words. The stupidest comment was by Coney after mcullum took a sharp single. Coney was saying 'that is what Bredon brings to the game'. Two balls later he was out and Ganguli went on to score 60 odd and won the match. It is time we get better commentators.

  • POSTED BY AncientAstronaut on | April 20, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    Yep, very disappointing performance by Kolkata. They had some of the best hitters in McCullum and Gayle, one of the best fast bowlers in Bond, and one of the best spinners in Kartik. And, yet.

  • POSTED BY srijan_sengupta on | April 20, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    Ganguly has had to take the flak whenever KKR failed, but this season i think he performed his heart out for KKR.. some weird team selections (why didn't laxmi play yesterday?) happened but it's difficult to know how much Ganguly was responsible for that.. on the field there can't be many complaints about what Ganguly did as captain, fielder and batsman.. he got ridiiculed on the strike rate, but look at Kallis.. why these double standards??!!

  • POSTED BY gannyboy on | April 20, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    All those commentators frm abroad who said Ganguly should come down the order n let Mcllum open got there answer yesterday. I hope they wont talk any rubbish abt DADA in future

  • POSTED BY on | April 20, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    no doubt dada was superb throughout the tournament... all blame to gayle and McCullum who let dada down despite his heroics

  • POSTED BY FairPoint on | April 20, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    There is no doubt in my mind that Ganguly was the best captain that a team like KKR could have. His ouster as a captain in 2009 really hurt their chances in that year. Although critics might point to a much slower run rate as an opener in 2010 it still was similar to Kallis, and he too was as prodigious as Kallis. What hurt KKR the most was the under performance of their international superstars. There was a lot more expected from Bond, Gayle and McCulum but they did not deliver. Also, Angelo Mathews showed a lot of promise early on but them did not live up to the expectations that he had built. If players like Unadkat, Dinda and Pujara had been given chances earlier then the team probably would have done better -- but then who would have thought that Ishant would be such a colossal disaster for KKR. This team still has in it to do great things and hopefully they will live up to their promise sooner than later.

  • POSTED BY HundredPercentBarcelonista on | April 20, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Murali Kartik the best Indian spinner on show? Wonder if you saw Ojha, Mishra and Harbhajan. Brendon McCullum not delivering? He wasn't even around for more than half the games.

  • POSTED BY on | April 20, 2010, 5:01 GMT

    KKR started IPL with a big big stake, but never came up to the finale. This is a big question. I think reframing of KKR, Punjab and RR can bring a lot of fun and interest in IPL, next season. Except for Dada, Mucullum, Gale, cheteshwar pujara and one or two; KKR needs serious re-vitalization. The team needs to have a clear cut plan of game and do all sorts for sticking to the line desired.

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  • POSTED BY on | April 20, 2010, 5:01 GMT

    KKR started IPL with a big big stake, but never came up to the finale. This is a big question. I think reframing of KKR, Punjab and RR can bring a lot of fun and interest in IPL, next season. Except for Dada, Mucullum, Gale, cheteshwar pujara and one or two; KKR needs serious re-vitalization. The team needs to have a clear cut plan of game and do all sorts for sticking to the line desired.

  • POSTED BY HundredPercentBarcelonista on | April 20, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Murali Kartik the best Indian spinner on show? Wonder if you saw Ojha, Mishra and Harbhajan. Brendon McCullum not delivering? He wasn't even around for more than half the games.

  • POSTED BY FairPoint on | April 20, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    There is no doubt in my mind that Ganguly was the best captain that a team like KKR could have. His ouster as a captain in 2009 really hurt their chances in that year. Although critics might point to a much slower run rate as an opener in 2010 it still was similar to Kallis, and he too was as prodigious as Kallis. What hurt KKR the most was the under performance of their international superstars. There was a lot more expected from Bond, Gayle and McCulum but they did not deliver. Also, Angelo Mathews showed a lot of promise early on but them did not live up to the expectations that he had built. If players like Unadkat, Dinda and Pujara had been given chances earlier then the team probably would have done better -- but then who would have thought that Ishant would be such a colossal disaster for KKR. This team still has in it to do great things and hopefully they will live up to their promise sooner than later.

  • POSTED BY on | April 20, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    no doubt dada was superb throughout the tournament... all blame to gayle and McCullum who let dada down despite his heroics

  • POSTED BY gannyboy on | April 20, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    All those commentators frm abroad who said Ganguly should come down the order n let Mcllum open got there answer yesterday. I hope they wont talk any rubbish abt DADA in future

  • POSTED BY srijan_sengupta on | April 20, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    Ganguly has had to take the flak whenever KKR failed, but this season i think he performed his heart out for KKR.. some weird team selections (why didn't laxmi play yesterday?) happened but it's difficult to know how much Ganguly was responsible for that.. on the field there can't be many complaints about what Ganguly did as captain, fielder and batsman.. he got ridiiculed on the strike rate, but look at Kallis.. why these double standards??!!

  • POSTED BY AncientAstronaut on | April 20, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    Yep, very disappointing performance by Kolkata. They had some of the best hitters in McCullum and Gayle, one of the best fast bowlers in Bond, and one of the best spinners in Kartik. And, yet.

  • POSTED BY harrynz on | April 20, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    the commentators moaning about gangulis strike rate got heir answer yesterday. ball for ball he did better than Mcullum. mediocre who have become more mediocre commentators like Jeremy Coney, Dominic Cork were constantly moaning about Sourav's stike rate. Kallis was 119 and Gangul was 117strike rate before yesterday. Kallis has Utappa, Dravid and Ross Taylor scoring fast and big. Gaguli had no foreign player playing well. Even Sashtri was stupidly blaming local players whereas it is the foreign players who have under performed. All these foreign commentators cant tolerate Ganguli. But in the end they have to collectivley eat their words. The stupidest comment was by Coney after mcullum took a sharp single. Coney was saying 'that is what Bredon brings to the game'. Two balls later he was out and Ganguli went on to score 60 odd and won the match. It is time we get better commentators.

  • POSTED BY Rajesh. on | April 20, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    I would say Anil Kumble is still the pick of the Indian spinners thought Kartik wasn't far behind.......... and even in a losing cause Saurav Ganguly did prove a point or two to his critics, not just by scoring runs but more surprisingly by taking some stunning catches... not bad for a old fella !! But in the end KKR still seemed a side owned by a 'reel hero' rather than a real hero. So it was no wonder the side was associated with lot of hype rather than substance....

  • POSTED BY mike5181 on | April 20, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    Their indian players suck! and mccullem only played 5 games.....thats why they were average as.