Trying to get guys to free up in our side: Kolkata Knight Riders coach Brendon McCullum

CHENNAI: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) coach Brendon McCullum on Sunday said that as the coach of the franchise, he is trying to get all the players in his side to free up a bit and fully express themselves.

His remarks came ahead of the start of KKR’s game against Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

“Coaching has been good. Obviously that century in IPL’s first ever game was a long time ago and my playing days are long done. Grateful for the opportunities I have had and some of the memories I have been able to create. It is the next stage of my life, as a coach, and it has been good. Trying to get the guys to free up a bit, giving them some of the experiences that I have had. It is a group of diverse cultures and the aim is to create a common goal,” McCullum told host broadcaster Star Sports.

“One of the things of batting on this pitch is to stay in the present. It means that the assessment of what you need to do at that point becomes easier. I try and instill belief in the guys. We have largely had the same set of players we had last year with some minor additions. They all get on well together, with each other and the support staff. We also ensured that the players spent time with their loved ones prior to the tournament because in these times, they will need that support. Bubble life can be tough,” he added.

Kohli-led RCB won the toss and opted to bat against KKR. RCB made one change to their lineup as the side brought in Rajat Patidar in place of Daniel Christian. On the other hand, KKR did not make any change to their playing XI from the last game.

RCB has won both its opening two games this season while KKR has managed to win one game and lose another.

KKR Playing XI: Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan, Shakib Al Hasan, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna.

RCB Playing XI: Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (c), Shahbaz Ahmed, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson, Rajat Patidar, Washington Sundar, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal.