IPL 2021: KKR coach Brendon McCullum gives reason behind poor show in Phase 1, says ‘We were was paralysed by fear of failing’

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum has admitted his side was a little bit paralysed due to fear of failing in the first phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

KKR is placed at the seventh spot in the points table with 4 points from seven games. In the next seven matches, the side needs to win six in order to cement its place in the playoffs. “In regards to the tournament which is upcoming (IPL phase II), we can end it right. We can take the game on and we’re in a situation where we need things to go our way. We need to hit the ground running, challenge one another privately, support one another publicly and try and get the best out of one another in the next 4-5 weeks. Who knows where we can go with this,” the official website of KKR quoted McCullum as saying.

“Everyone who supports KKR knows exactly the type of cricket they are going to play. We are going to try and entertain and take the opposition on. There were sometimes throughout the season when I just felt we were being paralysed a little bit by fear,” he added.

Further talking about his coaching style, McCullum said: “I wasn’t able to free the guys up enough to understand that and that’s sort of a challenge for me. But it is also a good challenge for the guys as well that they need to push the envelope of their own thinking as well. Hopefully we will be able to strip away a bit of the angst which had built up in the first part of the season, just go out there and try and enjoy ourselves. That’s the ambition that I have got for the franchise and hence why I am unapologetic and unrelenting in my belief that we need to play a braver style of play.”

“When we left India (after IPL was called off due to Covid), I think everyone understood me as a coach on how I want our team to play. I am unapologetic about that as well because my job is to try and build something at KKR that is going to last far longer than I am going to last for the franchise,” he added.

The 14th season, which was postponed in May this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume on September 19 in Dubai with a blockbuster clash between Chennai Super Kings and defending champions Mumbai Indians.