Dinesh Karthik has a point to prove in IPL 2020 after enduring a terrible campaign last year.
KKR is heavily dependent on foreign stars like Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Eoin Morgan.
The Knight Riders made some daunting acquisitions in the IPL 2020 auction. They splashed INR 15.5 crore to acquire the services of the Australian pacer, Pat Cummins, while another INR 5.5 crore was splurged to sign England’s limited-overs skipper, Eoin Morgan.
Other than Morgan and Cummins, they also roped in a talented youngster namely Tom Banton.
At the same time, they made a few bold decisions to let go of veterans like Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa and Chris Lynn.
Let’s have a look at what should be the ideal playing XI for the Knight Riders.
Openers: Sunil Narine and Shubman Gill
At the tender age of 21, Shubman Gill is already hailed as the next big thing in the cricketing arena. Gill has everything it takes to succeed in the shortest format of the game.
Although KKR has no dearth of opening batsmen, Gill is likely to get a nod above anyone else.
On the other hand, Sunil Narine’s explosiveness at the top needs no introduction. He has played some spectacular innings in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League (2020).
Narine will be the second opener for the franchise.
Middle-order: Nitesh Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan, Rahul Tripathi
Eoin Morgan’s acquisition in the IPL 2020 auction has bolstered otherwise a bit shaky middle-order of the Knight Riders.
Dinesh Karthik will indeed have a point to prove this season after facing lots of furore last year for his mediocre captaincy and below-par contribution from the bat.
Nitesh Rana, meanwhile, is a dynamic hitter who will be batting at his favourite No. 3 position. He just needs to be more consistent with the bat.
Rahul Tripathi might have to make a big sacrifice to forego his opening slot for the sake of squad balance.
All-rounders: Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Last season, Andre Russell took the league by storm with his other-worldly batting that transcended all limitations of human minds. He amassed 510 runs at an outrageous average of 56.66.
Russel’s flamboyance adds an extra layer of ruthlessness in KKR’s batting unit. He will be well assisted by Kamlesh Nagarkoti, who bowls in excess of 90mph, and is quite handy with the bat as well.
Bowlers: Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna
Pat Cummins will be tasked to spearhead a relatively young and inexperienced pace attack comprising of Nagarkoti and Prasidh Krishna. Lockie Ferguson, another talented pacer, might have to warm the bench for a while.
Kuldeep Yadav will lead the spin department of the team in the absence of Piyush Chawla, who was traded to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the auction.
Tom Banton, Ali Khan, Lockie Ferguson, Sandeep Warrier, Chris Green, Siddesh Lad, Varun Chakravarthy, Rinku Singh, M Siddharth, Shivam Mavi, Nikhil Naik
Here is Kolkata Knight Riders ideal playing XI:
- Shubman Gill – Matches: 37; Runs: 499; Average: 33.26; 50’s: 4
- Sunil Narine – Matches: 110; Runs: 771; Average: 17.52 ; 50’s: 3
- Nitesh Rana – Matches: 46; Runs: 1085; Average: 29.32; 50’s: 8
- Dinesh Karthik – Matches:182; Runs: 3654; Average: 27.o6; 50’s: 18
- Eoin Morgan – Matches: 52; Runs: 854; Average: 21.35; 50’s: 4
- Rahul Tripathi – Matches: 34; Runs: 758; Average: 26.13; 50’s: 4
- Andre Russell – Matches: 64; Runs: 1400; Average: 33,33; Wickets: 55; Economy: 8.88
- Kamlesh Nagarkoti – Yet to play
- Pat Cummins – Matches: 16; Wickets: 17; Best: 2/20; Economy: 8.29
- Kuldeep Yadav – Matches: 40; Wickets: 39; Best: 4/20; Economy: 8.33
- Prasidh Krishna – Matches: 18; Wickets: 14; Best: 4/30; Economy: 9.32