Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise, has recently appointed Trevor Bayliss as their batting coach for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Back in 2012 and 2014, Bayliss was associated with the team when it won the championship under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir, who last played for the Knights back in 2017 before parting ways.
Bayliss is the head of the England national team, which won the 2019 World Cup, beating New Zealand in the final at the Lord’s in London. Bayliss was also the head coach of Sri Lanka between 2007 and 2011 after which he moved to KKR. He tasted success even then as the Lankans went on to play the World Cup finals both in 2007 and 2011, though the Islanders ended up on the losing side.
He is set to join former Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum, who has also been roped in as a mentor by KKR, as per reports in Republic. McCullum was previously a part of the Kolkata franchise and has the distinction of scoring the first ton of the cash-rich tournament back in 2008, decimating the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Then he shifted to MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Changes in the Knight Riders management
Recently, the likes of Jacques Kallis and Simon Katich also left the Knight Riders. Kallis joined KKR in 2011 as a player before replacing Bayliss as the head coach. Under the Kallis and Bayliss duo, the Knights won 32 out of their 61 matches. The Knight Riders had a lacklustre season in 2019.
Even as the likes of Andre Russell soared above the expectations, the team failed to come along as a unit. Throughout the tournament, Russell kept suffering from injuries, but he didn’t let them turn detrimental. He was KKR’s leading run-scorer, having notched 510 runs and getting 11 wickets.
The team, led by Dinesh Karthik, started with a number of victories and was sitting pretty at the top of the points table. However, a string of defeats meant that their campaign kept going into the shambles. They eventually managed to finish fifth on the points table with six victories from 14 matches.
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