Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Shreyas Iyer started his captaincy journey with a new franchise on a high with a clinical 6-wicket win over defending champions Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium. With the win, KKR also ended their three-match losing streak to the four-time IPL champions and managed to get their revenge for last year’s final defeat.
Iyer, who joined KKR this season for a whopping INR 12.25 crore, was named captain of the franchise ahead of a senior player like Pat Cummins. The talented player didn’t disappoint in his first game as KKR captain as he impressed many with his smart bowling changes and field placements to get the better of CSK batters.
KKR managed to restrict the opposition for 131/5 in 20 overs after a strong bowling display in the first 15 overs. However, Shivam Mavi and Andre Russell leaked too many runs in the death overs.
The 27-year-old admitted that he got a hint that the momentum was going to shift in CSK’s favour in the final overs due to the dew and MS Dhoni managed to do that with a fighting half-century.
“There is always tension when MS Dhoni is batting. I knew momentum was going to shift towards them with the dew around. It was difficult to grip the ball,” Iyer said at the post-match presentation after guiding his team to a 6-wicket win over CSK in the season opener.
Dhoni turned back the clock to smash his first IPL century since 2019. The veteran wicketkeeper was batting on 7 off 17 balls but he managed to switch gears at the right time to smash 43 off the last 21 balls to complete his half-century in the final over of the innings.
Iyer also talked about the environment in his new franchise and said that everyone associated with the franchise has been very supportive of him.
“Enjoying the new franchise. CEO, management, support staff have been outstanding. Just need to carry the momentum,” he added.
“It was spungier than we imagined. This is one place I love to play. I grew up here. I thought it would be flat,” Iyer said while talking about playing on his home ground Wankhede Stadium.
He further heaped praise on veteran pacer Umesh Yadav to produce a sensational performance with the ball in the season opener.
“It was pretty easy for me with the bowling line up I had. Umesh has worked hard in the nets and did well in the practice games too. Really chuffed to see him perform today,” Iyer concluded.