IPL: Here's who will miss KKR's first five matches according to team's mentor David Hussey

PTIUpdated: Wednesday, March 23, 2022, 09:29 PM IST
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Aaron Finch |

Kolkata Knight Riders will miss the services of star Australian recruits Pat Cummins and Aaron Finch in their first five matches of IPL-15, the team's mentor David Hussey said on Wednesday.

It comes as a blow to the two-time winners who begin their campaign against defending champions Chennai Super Kings on the opening day of the tournament on March 26.

"Well, it is a concern, you want your best players available, but international cricket should be the para-limit. Every cricketer should want to play international cricket for their countries so they have commitments that way.

"I think Cummins and Finch will miss the first five games but they will be cricket fit and cricket ready," said Hussey during a virtual press conference.

"So, once they hit the ground running, both quality people and they will fit into the dressing room perfectly well," he stated further.

Australia's ongoing tour of Pakistan ends on April 5 while KKR's fifth match of the season is scheduled for April 10.

KKR were earlier dealt a blow after T20 specialist Alex Hales withdrew from the tournament citing bubble fatigue.

Adding to KKR's misery is the Australian duo of Cummins and Finch, who was roped in as Hales' replacement, missing the team's first few games as they are touring Pakistan.

Hussey believed new KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer has a good cricketing brain and has proved his skills as a leader during his stint as Delhi Capitals captain.

Iyer, who led Delhi Capitals to the final in 2020, was bought by KKR for Rs 12.25 crore at the mega auction last month.

"Shreyas is a born leader, just the way he walks around, he commands respect. Knowing Pat (Cummins) really well, he would be a good deputy and would also lead from the front," Hussey said.

"But the way Shreyas has captained in the past for Delhi, he has a very good cricket brain and a nice vision of how to play the game and I think he will express himself really well. I think it's a smart move from Brendon (McCullum) and KKR management."

Asked how he would go about handling the 27-year-old, he replied: "The best coaching is to just leave the good players alone, let them go where they work.

"He is in rare form at the moment. I don't know him, I'm getting to know him but he comes across as true leader and a person who knows his game really really well."

KKR also picked up out-of-favour Ajinkya Rahane, but Hussey is confident the former India Test vice-captain will come good.

"He's been a class player for over a decade, he's dominated for Rajasthan Royals and I believe he has at least 5-10 years of international cricket left in him.

"He might not be scoring the runs he wants recently but they way he is training he's going to dominate in the IPL and also he's a leader amongst the group as well."

The former Australia all-rounder felt KKR have been able to build a "well balanced" bowling attack. "Good to have Umesh Yadav back in the side. He works hard on his game and he's an absolute beast and hopefully he charges in and bowls exceptionally quick.

"We got good fast bowlers in Umesh, (Tim) Southee, (Shivam) Mavi and Cummins and good spin in Varun (Chakravarthy) and (Sunil) Narine," he said.

Asked if KKR are missing a quality wicketkeeper, Hussey said, "No, I think we are happy after the auction. "We got Sheldon Jackson, who is a wonderful wicketkeeper, good striker of the cricket ball and dominates in the Ranji Trophy, also he been the part of our team for long time now and I think he's going to set the tournament alight.

"Then we also have Sam Billings. He's also a quality wicketkeeper who has played Test cricket for England."

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