Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) lost their opening clash against the defending champion Mumbai Indians (MI) by 49 runs on Wednesday, September 22.
Chasing 196, the Knight Riders had a terrible start as they lost both their openers, Shubman Gill and Sunil Narine, inside the powerplay. Moreover, none of the KKR’s batsmen stepped up to the occasion as they were restricted to a paltry score of 146 in twenty overs.
The Knight Riders are heavily reliant on their foreign players. The likes of Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins and Narine forms the crux of KKR’s squad. On Wednesday night, barring Narine, all of them failed to live up to the expectations.
Russell was the most productive player for the franchise last year. He scored over 500 runs at an astounding average of 56.66 and a strike-rate hovering over 200. Although the Jamaican didn’t have a great game against MI, he would be hoping to bounce back and replicate the same sort of performances this year as well.
‘He is talented, athletic, can do amazing things on the field’
In an interactive session organised by the franchise on Twitter, KKR chief mentor David Hussey was asked to name a replacement for Russell.
Hussey stated that the franchise has a back-up in the form of an Australian all-rounder Chris Green. He further added that even Kamlesh Nagarkoti could be a worthy replacement for the Windies talisman.
“I like Nagarkoti as a back-up all-rounder. He is talented, athletic, can do amazing things on the field. He is an India U19 champion. An all-round ripping kid. He tries hard and one of his best attributes is that he competes,” said the former Australian all-rounder.
The Knight Riders are among the most popular franchises of the league, and they have won the championship titles twice. However, under the leadership of Dinesh Karthik, the team had a horrible season last year as they failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Karthik has a lot to prove in IPL 2020 as this might prove to be his last season as a skipper if things go downhill once again for the franchise.