IPL 2020: Squad analysis of Kolkata Knight Riders
In the past few IPL seasons, Kolkata Knight Riders have looked impressive in the leadership of Dinesh Karthik. Despite several dressing-room controversies, the Kolkata-based franchise has been able to produce some impactful performances of late. This time, they will begin their IPL campaign against defending champions Mumbai Indians on September 23 in Abu Dhabi. Let us analyze KKR's squad ahead of the season.
Players bought by KKR: Pat Cummins (Rs. 15.50 crore), Eoin Morgan (Rs. 5.25 crore), Tom Banton (Rs. 1 crore), Chris Green (Rs. 20 lakh), Varun Chakravarthy (Rs. 4 crore), Pravin Tambe (Rs. 20 lakh), Rahul Tripathi (Rs. 60 lakh), M Siddarth (Rs. 20 lakh), Nikhil Naik (Rs. 20 lakh). Australia's Pat Cummins and England captain Eoin Morgan are the notable inclusions in KKR's squad.
The departure of Chris Lynn has left a huge void in KKR's top order, however, youngster Shubman Gill would like to make the most of the opportunity. Sunil Narine, who has grabbed headlines for his batting of late, could be the other opener. Besides, KKR boast a sturdy middle order with the likes of Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Russell, Morgan, and skipper Dinesh Karthik.
The Karthik-led side includes perhaps two of IPL's greatest all-rounders, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell. While Narine has a knack of disarraying the batsmen with his vicious spin, Russell's giant sixes can turn the game in the blink of eye. Australia's Chris Green is another overseas all-rounder in the squad. Among Indians, Shivam Mavi stands out as the fast-bowling all-rounder.
The addition of IPL's most expensive foreign buy Pat Cummins will certainly bolster the fast bowling segment of KKR. Moreover, New Zealand pace spearhead Lockie Ferguson could perfectly complement the former. Indian fast bowlers Prasidh Krishna, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, and Shivam Mavi will also be waiting to grab the opportunity. Meanwhile, leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy might be in contention, considering the nature of UAE's tracks.
Here's a look at the complete squad of KKR: Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (C), 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, Ali Khan (could be added as a replacement of Harry Gurney).
As compared to previous seasons, Kolkata Knight Riders appear to be a much more balanced side on paper. The star-studded side is orchestrated with a mix of experience and youth, which will likely help them attain the playoffs berth this time. Probable XI for the first game: Narine, Gill, Rana, Karthik (C/WK), Morgan, Russell, Mavi, Cummins, Krishna, Nagarkoti, Varun.