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IPL 2021: KKR uses secret code during PBKS match, Virender Sehwag responds


Kolkata Knight Riders Team
Kolkata Knight Riders Team. (Photo Source: Disney + Hotstar VIP)

Expressing his annoyance at the ‘code word’ strategy used by the Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday, former Indian opener Virender Sehwag has said that anyone can become a captain this way.

The incident occurred during the 21st match of the league when Kolkata Knight Riders analyst Nathan Leamon held a cryptic placard reading ’54’ during the middle overs of Punjab Kings’ batting. From fans to on-air commentators, many tried to decode the message that the management was trying to convey to their captain, but all of those were only wild guesses.

This is not the first time when KKR has used the ‘code word’ tactics to communicate with the on-field players from the dugout. Sharing his opinion in interaction with Cricbuzz, Sehwag admitted that even though there is nothing wrong with receiving such help from the dugout, he said that this could undermine the role of a captain’s instincts.

In this way, anyone can be the captain: Virender Sehwag

“We have only seen such code language in the army. I think ’54’ was the name of their plan which could be about bowling a certain bowler at a particular time. I think that’s a little help that management and coaches want to give to the captain from the dugout.”

“There’s nothing to frown upon in this, but if they are dictating [the game] from the outside then in this way, anyone can be the captain right? There’s no role left for his (Eoin Morgan) popular instinctive power in the game, the power with which he won the World Cup,” said Virender Sehwag.

“I think one should definitely get help from outside but the captain himself has some instincts about which type of bowler to use when. I am not saying don’t take the help from outside because sometimes even the 25th player can give a good suggestion.”

“But this suggestion should be only something which helps the captain and he thinks ‘Right, I didn’t think about it in this way’. Also, these things can help if he has forgotten something and the code reminds him of that then there’s no issue,” he added.

Sehwag concluded giving MS Dhoni’s instinctive captaincy as an example: “Many captains like MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma are instinctive. They change their strategy according to the situation on the ground. If I talk about MS here, then when Andre Russell was batting, there was no fine-leg or deep square-leg, just 2 players on the leg-side, and the rest were on the off-side. No analyst can tell you this; this is MS Dhoni’s immediate thinking. No doubt, help from the dugout is good, but there are certain instances when the captain’s instincts are more important.”

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