New Zealand's Colin Munro is a treat to watch when in full flow, though not for the bowlers. The 29-year-old left-handed batsman proved his mettle once again on Friday (January 6) as he hammered 101 off just 54 balls against Bangladesh to give his team a series-clinching 47-run victory in the second T20 at the Bay Oval, Mt Maunganui.
With just a few months left for the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to start, one wonders whether the Kolkata Knight Riders made a strategic blunder by by letting the player go.
Coming back to Friday's game, Munro slammed seven sixes and as many fours to power the home side to 195 for 7 in the allotted 20 overs. The visitors were then bowled out for 147 in less than 19 overs. Munro was dismissed for a duck in the Kiwis' first T20I against Bangladesh and that perhaps prepared the stage for the champion batsman to make an emphatic return.
Munro's performance for KKR was not impressive last season as he could manage just 30 runs from four matches and neither could pick a single wicket. May be that was the reason for the franchise to part ways with the player who has the potential to destroy any opposition on his day.
KKR could have persisted with Munro
To be fair, Munro was not played consistently enough to do justice to his talent. His average in T20Is and one-day internationals hasn't been as great as his strike rate but yet, the KKR management could have persisted with him for some more time. Afterall, we have seen how Brendon McCullum and Chris Gayle, the two former KKR openers, displayed their dashing batting skills after leaving the side which is co-owned by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. The management could also have kept in mind that all-rounders come at a premium rate in the players' auction.
With a player like Colin Munro, they are match-winners. They can win you matches from impossible situations and teams should always have such players in their squad. Not only can Munro bat, his bowling, too, is quite decent and can make a difference to the side.
Though KKR might have released him, one can expect some teams putting up serious bid for the all-rounder in the IPl 2017 auction scheduled in February.
The Riders have axed a number of players, both foreigners and domestic, besides Munro this season. While the foreigners include Morne Morkel, Brad Hogg, Jason Holder, John Hastings and Shaun Tait, Jaydev Unadkat, R Sathish and Manan Sharma were among the Indians who were left out.
The franchise, who won the title twice in 2012 and 2014, recently also replaced former Pakistani captain Wasim Akram with Lakshmipathy Balaji as its bowling coach.