Multiple captains. Gifts to players after every game, win or lose. Big statements in the media, stoking unnecessary controversies, and a mystery writer talking about the team not being a team in the true sense of the word. That's the sum total of what Kolkata Knight Riders have achieved in this year's IPL, and the latest piece of news doing the rounds is that the owner wants out.
And here's the news that a lot of people might be expecting: the high-profile and big-talking coach of KKR, John Buchanan, may soon find himself out of a job. A similar fate may be in store for the support staff, many of them his relatives and friends.
In all this, cricket and performance on the field has taken a back seat. McCullum has been unimaginative as captain, and a disaster with the bat. Against Rajasthan Royals, a match that KKR should have won, he decided to hand the ball to Mendis against a menacing and rampaging Yusuf Pathan, and the super over turned out to be a super-flop over.
KKR, it would seem, never recovered from that body blow.
Gayle has fired in a most limited manner, Brad Hodge made a 73 last evening but failed to take his team to victory because he had consumed too many deliveries. Was he playing for himself? Is his contract for the next year, thanks to the 73, safe? Good for him.
Sourav also seems to have given up, if his body language after getting out for a duck yesterday is any indication. Each individual is playing for himself and his contract for the next year after having ensured that the team stays at the bottom of the table this year.
To my mind, the man who must cop the maximum blame for this state of affairs is the super coach, Buchanan. His shenanigans ensured that the team was in splinters even before they reached South Africa and atrophied further once the games began.
It will be good if Shah Rukh lets go of him, and brings back Sourav as captain, and more importantly as coach next year. Dada can do wonders, and he doesn't need to remind any one of the manner he transformed Team India from a talented team that couldn't win to one that could take on the best, anywhere, any time, and win.
But that just might not happen, however good it might be for the team. I believe that Kolkata has been dropped from the team name, and the team might be called Ahmedabad Knight Riders next year. Would that also mean curtains for Dada?
Time will tell.