The team affected by a flawed team selection and batting-order, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have a lot to ponder before IPL 2020.
Kolkata Knights Riders finished fifth in IPL 2019, but their performance really doesn’t reflect the kind of proven match-winners they had.
To be honest, they made the worst possible playing 11 and batting-order decisions. Right from not deciding to open with Sunil Narine to Robin Uthappa’s underutilization to playing Shuman Gill and Andre Russell lower down the order.
Anyway, the IPL 2020 trade window now gives them a chance to revive their campaign, and rectify the mistakes they did in IPL 2019 from the resource point of view.
Before that, let’s analyze the Kolkata Knight Riders’ squad. Let’s see what decisions KKR need to take before IPL 2020.
KKR SQUAD AHEAD OF IPL 2020 TRADE WINDOW:
Batsmen: Chris Lynn, Dinesh Karthik(WK), Nikhil Naik(WK), Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Robin Uthappa, and Shubman Gill.
All-rounders: Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Joe Denly, Sunil Narine, and Srikant Mundhe.
Bowlers: KC Cariappa, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Harry Gurney, Lockie Ferguson, Matthew Kelly, Prasidh Krishna, Prithvi Raj, and Sandeep Warrier.
#3: Release Robin Uthappa | Price: INR 640L
A target of a flawed batting-order, and poor returns with the bat, Robin Uthappa doesn’t seem to be a good value addition anymore to the team.
The youngsters like Shuman Gill and Nitish Rana are itching to give their best at the top-order, and that leaves Uthappa’s place in shambles. Bought for a whopping INR 640L, Uthappa also gave poor returns with the bat in IPL 2019 scoring only 282 runs from 11 innings at a strike rate of just 115.1.
Considering the pool of players currently, Uthappa isn’t a confirmed starter in the playing 11 anymore, and trading him for an experienced Indian pacer seems more appropriate.
#2: Release Carlos Brathwaite | Price: INR 500L
Kolkata Knight Riders have four superb overseas players in the form of Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, and Lockie Ferguson. Lockie didn’t have a great IPL 2019, but had a fantastic World Cup 2019. He is also the most experienced pacer in the squad.
All these players are expected to play the whole season in IPL 2020 too as they did in IPL 2019. In that case, why would KKR want to pay a hefty price to Carlos Brathwaite when we are sure his services won’t be utilized to the potential.
In addition to this, Carlos hasn’t had the bests of the IPL barring a good knock or two over the years. Hence, it would be better if KKR release him, and look for a more experienced Indian pacer.
#1: Fine-tuning the Leadership Thought Process
IPL 2019 for KKR was full of captaincy blunders such as improper management of resources, and poor batting-order decisions as shown below
- KKR’s flawed strategy of not sending Sunil Narine to open when we know he can be very dangerous at the top, and can add very less value down the order.
- Underutilization of Shubman Gill by playing him in the lower-order for most of the matches.
- Constant changes in the batting-order as except for Chris Lynn, almost everyone played as a floater.
The reasons like these indicate that the leadership isn’t stable, and looks affected by flawed strategies that need some fine-tuning. It is no doubt that Dinesh Karthik is a potent leader, but he along with the coaching staff need to have a clear plan for resource utilization.
So, these are the decisions that Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) need to take before IPL 2020.
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ALSO READ: IPL 2019: Kolkata Knight Riders Team Rating
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.