New Zealand pacer Tim Southee opened up on Kolkata Knight Riders' struggles with their opening pair in batting, saying chopping and changing isn't ideal but the team is still trying to find the right combination in the ongoing IPL. KKR have used four different opening combinations in this edition but didn't bear fruit as the team suffered its fifth loss on the trot on Thursday night to lie at the seventh position in the points table.
"It's hard when you haven't had the wins you wanted. After a big auction, we are still trying to find the right combinations," Southee said during the post-match press conference following KKR's four-wicket loss to Delhi Capitals.
"We've tried a few opening combinations and there are no bad players in the IPL, they're all class acts. The guys who've opened, have pure class as well. So, it's just about guys finding form and running with guys who've found form.
"The chopping and changing nature isn't ideal, but that happens when you aren't winning a lot of games."
If Ajinkya Rahane and Venkatesh Iyer opened in their first five games, three different combinations with Sunil Narine, Aaron Finch and Sam Billings were used at the top in KKR's last four matches.
West Indian all-rounder Rovman Powell said it was a tough start for him in the IPL but he trusted the hard work he had put in before the competition. Powell smashed an unbeaten 16-ball 33 on Thursday to help DC chase down a victory target of 147 in the 19th over.
"Yeah, it was a tough start, but I was in form. In the early part of the season, I was going out for like one ball, two balls and those kinds of stuff," said the 28-year-old, who had managed just 31 runs in the first five matches this season.
"When you get those innings, they don't state whether you're a good player or bad player. The team - the captain, coach - rallied around me, and told me that I'll play all the games. 'So just relax, just to play cricket and to enjoy it'.
"My start in the competition wasn't the best, but I trust all the work I had done before the IPL."
DC had slipped to 84 for 4 in 11 overs with Umesh Yadav taking three wickets for 24 runs but Powell said he was confident of pulling off the chase. "It was a simple situation that require you to play singles early. Once you get the singles early, the boundary balls will always come. It was not that difficult of a situation. I played it well," Powell, who was bought for Rs 2.8 crores, said.
"They bowled their best bowlers early trying to get us out. Once we didn't get out, you know that in the back-end some makeshift bowlers will come and bowl..."
In DC's previous outing against Rajasthan Royals, Powell had threatened to pull off a heist, slamming a 15-ball 36 laced with five maximums, out of which three were hit on successive deliveries in the last over.