NEW DELHI: New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson was the star of the show in the epic Kolkata Knight Riders Vs Sunrisers Hyderabad clash that the Eoin Morgan-led side won via a Super Over on Sunday. Returning figures of 3/15 in the game and then bowling a brilliant Super Over — that included 2 wickets and restricting SRH to just 2 runs — Lockie was just sensational in his first game of IPL 2020.
But in the first half of the tournament, surprisingly Lockie didn’t make it to the playing XI. With just four foreigners allowed and the likes of Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and the most expensive buy of the season Pat Cummins in the KKR XI, it took Lockie more than half of the tournament to make his way onto the field.

Many feel Lockie should have been tried out much earlier, since he bowls at good pace, has a good yorker and great slow variations. Pace bowlers remember have been a big factor as far as team success is concerned this season. Delhi Capitals have been benefitting from the in roads their pace duo Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje provide. Mumbai Indians have also been consistently at the top of the table thanks largely to their fast bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, James Pattinson and now Nathan Coulter-Nile.

Lockie also showed how his skiddy pace can a terrific asset for KKR in his first match of the season as he single-handedly swung the game in favour of KKR against SRH.
One has to wonder if Lockie perhaps should have been given a chance, maybe even in place of Pat Cummins who has been well below par this season.
After the match, Lockie explained how he had been regularly training but was nervous and at the same time also comfortable bowling even after not being part of the XI for so long.

“I have been training quite a lot. Feel pretty comfortable while bowling. But obviously had not played for a while so was pretty nervous. Just one of the days when you express yourself and happy how it worked. I tried to keep it pretty simple what I was doing throughout the game. I backed my yorker, backed my slower ball and fortunately got those wickets which was actually nice at that stage,” Lockie said in a chat with Shubman Gill after the match.
In the Super Over, Lockie restricted SRH to just 2, making the equation for KKR pretty easy. Talking about it Lockie said that the likes of skipper Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik have a calm mind that allowed him to execute his plans in the high-pressure Super Over.
“It’s nice to have guys like Morgs and DK around you who are very calm heads to talk through the plans. I came to Morgs with my plan which was not similar to what was in the game and then stuck to it and it is always nice to get a wicket first-ball, relieves a little bit of stress, restricted them to 2 and gave us an opportunity to win,” Lockie said.
Performing in a crunch game after coming in straightaway at the half-way stage of the tournament also helped Lockie garner praise from all around.

Similar to Lockie, there are several other high profile players in different franchises that have still not managed a game this season.
Imran Tahir (Chennai Super Kings) – The highest wicket-taker in the 2019 edition of the IPL (26) is yet to play his first match for Chennai this season.
Mitchell Santner (Chennai Super Kings) – New Zealand all-rounder Santner, who played 4 matches for Chennai last season has not been part of the CSK playing XI so far.
Sandeep Lamichhane (Delhi Capitals) – 20-year-old Sandeep featured in 6 matches for Delhi in 2019 but is yet to play his first match this season.
Chris Lynn (Mumbai Indians) – Coming in from Kolkata Knight Riders to MI this season, Lynn is yet to play his first match in the 2020 season for the defending champions.



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