Squad analysis IPL 2018: Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders will be banking heavily on their West Indian pair Andre Russell and Sunil Narine. KKR's thin squad has plenty of issues surrounding it and Kolkata's players need inspiration from somewhere. Initial expensive purchases in the auction did not help them, as they look like an unbalanced side at least on paper. In this article we analyse the squad of KKR.
Trivia: Interesting facts about KKR
The Knights lack depth in batting
KKR are sweating since their star batsman Chris Lynn is nursing a dislocated shoulder. They need him to be available to avoid a major setback. India U-19 World Cup star Shubman Gill will be expected to open the innings with Lynn. In the middle-order, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik and Nitish Rana form the impetus. The bench strength lacks solid quality.
Uthappa key to provide stability to KKR's batting
Robin Uthappa's form is vital for the side, given his likely position would be one down. He has to score bulk of the runs, given KKR no longer enjoy the services of Manish Pandey. KKR would need Uthappa to fire in all encounters.
All-rounders not at all threatening
KKR haven't gone big on all-rounders and Andre Russell is their prime force. He had missed last season because of his suspension and this year, he could not test his abilities in the Pakistan Super League due to a fresh injury. Proteas specialist Cameron Delport is a viable option, but is likely to miss most games given the foreign quota rule.
Russell needs swift recovery to stage a show
With Russell out of the PSL due a calf injury, his preparations have been hit hard ahead of IPL 2018. KKR will be monitoring the player's progress with close attention. A match-winner, the West Indian stalwart has 31 wickets and 574 runs in the IPL.
Knights have the best bowling line-up in IPL 2018
Mitchell Starc is a world class figure and with his former colleague Mitchell Johnson also present, the pace attack has quality. The presence of Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi is promising given the young duo's deadly pace trend in the U-19 WC. Vinay Kumar brings vital experience. The spin attack is world class with Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla on offer.
Kuldeep's wrist spin a major attribute
Kuldeep Yadav has been a revelation in the limited over format for over a year now. With his quality wrist spin, he has hit batsmen hard and has shown remarkable temperament. His wicket taking skills will be beneficial for the Knights.
What's our take on Kolkata Knight Riders?
A lot will be riding on newly appointed skipper Dinesh Karthik. The way he handles the foreign talent will determine KKR's fortunes. With their already thin batting, major injuries have dampened their chances. In our opinion, KKR are unlikely to make it to the play-offs.