Potent foreign contingent, the focus as we look at the strongest predicted playing 11 of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for IPL 2020 matches in UAE.
With a solid overseas core and a few dependable Indian players in their line-up, KKR would have looked ahead to IPL 2020, irrespective of wheresoever it would have taken place. Hence, a UAE edition of the competition would not provoke problems for team management.
With home conditions favoring pace, KKR would in fact be pleased that they had stocked-up their spin-bowling department at the auction. As conditions in UAE help Spinners more, this would be of great value for them. However, with a squad that is profoundly reliant on the overseas cricketers, KKR might stand vulnerable if the lack of experience in their young and talented players is exposed.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Squad for IPL 2020 UAE:
Batsmen: Dinesh Karthik (C&WK), Eoin Morgan, Nikhil Naik (WK), Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, and Tom Banton (WK).
All-rounders: Andre Russell, Chris Green, and Sunil Narine
Bowlers: Harry Gurney, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, M Siddharth, Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, and Varun Chakravarthy.
So, looking at the squad composition and pitches in UAE, what could be the strongest predicted playing 11 for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for IPL 2020. Let’s have a look in this article.
Rahul Tripathi || Sunil Narine (Shubman Gill)
If you keep the strategies aside, KKR are likely to field Rahul Tripathi and Shubman Gill as the openers. However, it is imperative that Sunil Narine would take Gill’s spot in the eventual batting order as a pseudo opener, and Gill will then play at No.3 in the line-up.
Narine may not have played as an opener under Dinesh Karthik as much as he did under Gautam Gambhir, but everyone knows Narine’s value as an opener. His ability to give brisks starts even on slow pitches of UAE would be invaluable. We hope Dinesh Karthik sticks to this strategy, and plays him as an opener; initially at least.
Tripathi has done well in the past as an opener for Rajasthan Royals and Rising Pune Supergiants. Considering KKR usually suffers from slow starts in the latter part of the powerplay, the Maharashtra opener would play a massive role for the team in IPL 2020. His strategy would be simple to give brisks start along with Sunil Narine, and it would be a bonus if Tripathi gets big scores.
Shubman Gill || Nitish Rana || Eoin Morgan || Dinesh Karthik (C&WK)
The emerging player winner of IPL 2019, Shubman Gill has the responsibility to up his game from 2019, and win many games for his side next season. He would also act as the anchor, around whom the other explosive team members would be expected to operate. Being a technically sound batsman, pitch-related issues would be fewer for Gill in UAE.
Apart from Gill at 3, KKR have got themselves an experienced and reliable middle-order for IPL 2020. Each of the other three batsmen, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, and Eoin Morgan in this segment can win games on their own, and that gives terrific stability to the batting unit.
One of the most underrated players in the competition, Nitish Rana is a joy to watch when he comes good. He is someone who can shift gears nonchalantly, and that can prove to be notably profitable in intense quests.
Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan will constitute the core of this batting unit. Highly experienced in their trades, Karthik and Morgan will have lots to offer in the forthcoming season apart from their valuable leadership qualities. KKR also have adequate alternates in the form of Rinku Singh and S Lad.
Andre Russell || Sunil Narine
In the UAE segment of IPL 2014, Sunil Narine was the highest wicket-taker with nine scalps from 5 games at an economy of 5.35. KKR would hope that Narine can repeat the show, and also be keen to extract quick cameos from the West Indian at the top of the batting line-up.
Andre Russell would yet again be the most prominent member of this XI. He is a brute striker of the ball, and hence, the change in conditions might not have a tremendous bearing on his batting. With the ball in hand, Russell would look to have more variations than consistently hitting the deck hard- a strategy that he employs very often.
Pat Cummins || Kuldeep Yadav || Varun Chakravarthy || Prasidh Krishna
The slightly inexperienced KKR’s bowling unit would be under the scanner next season. The costliest bowler ever at an auction, Pat Cummins would be expected to have a direct influence on the outcome. UAE might not be the best site for his skills, but still, you cannot have a better bowler than Pat on his day.
Kuldeep Yadav was dropped for a few games last season. However, in UAE, KKR would not dare repeat the decision. The chinaman is an absolute asset on such pitches, and he would be one of the strong contenders for the purple cap.
Had it been Kolkata, Shivam Mavi or Kamlesh Nagarkoti might have been selected ahead of Varun Chakravarthy. But, conditions in UAE may prompt KKR to play an additional spinner in Varun Chakravarthy. He may be inexperienced, and is coming off a below-par IPL 2019 with a burden of the hefty price tag, but he would like to forget that, and play freely in IPL 2020.
Even with less experience, Prasidh Krishna happens to be the most experienced pacer in the KKR squad. However, he would be happy to accompany Pat Cummins as one of the lead pacers. Additionally, KKR also have plenty of backup options such as Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Lockie Ferguson, and Sandeep Warrier.
The Predicted 11 for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for IPL 2020 matches in UAE:
Rahul Tripathi, Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (C&WK), Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, and Prasidh Krishna.
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Nesara is an Author at AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics. He is an Engineer by profession. Watching Cricket, Football & Movies is one of his topmost priorities within the day.