CricketIPL 2021

IPL Team Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders

2 times Indian Premier League champions Kolkata Knight Riders will be going into the 2020 edition of the IPL aiming to lift the coveted crown for the 3rd time. Here we look at how their chances stand of winning the upcoming season of the world’s biggest T20 league.

➡️Bowling Department

The entire IPL will be played in the UAE. The Arab nation is known for its slow pitches, which are known to be spin-friendly and balls often keep low. Hence spinners and fast bowlers who can take the pace off the ball are going to be crucial. Kolkata

KKR have traditionally boasted off a strong spin attack. They will once again be led by the wily Sunil Narine, who has now achieved legendary status at the Eden Gardens based team. He is expected to be duly assisted by Indian chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav. However, the reserves look thin if any of these two suffer an injury. The remainder of the spin arsenal consists of inexperienced Indians Varun Chakravarthy, Manimaran Siddharth and Australian Chris Green. Tamil Nadu leggie Chakravarthy didn’t exactly have a great time with King’s XI Punjab and the onus will be on him to prove himself on the IPL stage. Green has experience in various T20 leagues across the world like the BBL, PSL, CPL and in England but his numbers are not really enough to instil pre-tournament confidence in the fans.

The pace bowling is expected to be led by Aussie quick Pat Cummins who has had a remarkable time for Australia across formats. KKR continue to have the services of Prasidh Krishna, who has proved himself to be a tricky customer for batsmen and the young quick duo Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti who played a pivotal role in India’s U19 World Cup triumph in 2018. They also have Kiwi fast bowler Lockie Ferguson who can bowl at real pace. However, they seem to genuinely lack someone who can take the pace off the ball and control the proceedings in the middle over, something Rajat Bhatia excelled at during his glory days. There will obviously be Andre Russel as a utility bowling option.

➡️Batting Department

The Knights have certainly improved their batting resources. They have quite a range of options in the opening department. Eoin Morgan can open the batting like he did in the Gautam Gambhir era or he can also bat in the middle as he does for England.

Other options for opening are Shubhman Gill, Tom Banton (who has impressed for England in the series against Pakistan) and Sunil Narine, who can act as the pinch hitter upfront. The team’s progress in the middle overs will depend a lot on skipper Dinesh Karthik, southpaw Nitish Rana while Andre Russel is expected to take charge in the 2nd half of the innings.

➡️Captaincy

Kolkata Dinesh Karthik will have his 3rd season as KKR captain this time. While his team did qualify for the playoffs the 1st time, they came 5th last season. He will be eager to get things right this time.

 

➡️Full SQUAD

Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan, Varun Chakravarthy, Tom Banton, Rahul Tripathi, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik.

➡️ Best possible XI: 1. Shubman Gill 2. Sunil Narine 3. Rahul Tripathi 4. Eoin Morgan 5. Nitish Rana 6. Dinesh Karthik 7. Andre Russell 8. Pat Cummins 9. Kamlesh Nagarkoti 10. Kuldeep Yadav 11. Varun Chakravarthy
➡️Prediction

Kolkata Knight Riders will be a contender for top honours as usual. However, their bowling looks a little thin in case their top stars have to sit out. We predict a 4th or 5th place finish for the team in purple and Gold.

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