Key match winners, the focus as we look at the best predicted playing 11 for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for IPL 2022.
When Kolkata Knight Riders retained 4 players, their purse deduction was INR 42 Cr even as the actual amount given to them was only 33 Cr. Having blocked the additional 9 Cr, the issue wasn’t clearly visible at that time, but it was clearly visible during IPL 2022 Mega Auction when the team could not make the purchases they would have liked.
The biggest and most positive takeaway for KKR from the Auction was the acquisition of their leader, Shreyas Iyer. In addition, KKR could manage to buy their 2021 superstars like Nitish Rana, Pat Cummins, and Shivam Mavi. Barring these good ones, most of the team players bring fresh energy to the table.
Overall, KKR did a decent job of making their team. While their strongest playing 11 isn’t bad, which we would see in this article, the backups is where the team struggles the most. So, with the kind of squad the team has established, what could be the best predicted playing 11 for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for IPL 2022? Let’s find out in this article.
Please note, the playing 11 is selected keeping 4-5 batters, minimum 2 all-rounders, 1 wicket-keeper, and minimum 3 pacers in mind.
IPL 2022 Final Squad for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR):
Batters and WKs: Abhijeet Tomar, Ajinkya Rahane, Alex Hales, Nitish Rana, Pratham Singh, Ramesh Kumar, Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer, Baba Indrajith (WK), Sam Billings (WK) & Sheldon Jackson (WK)
All-rounders: Aman Khan, Andre Russell, Anukul Roy, Chamika Karunaratne, Mohammad Nabi, Pat Cummins & Venkatesh Iyer
Bowlers: Ashok Sharma, Rasikh Salam Dar, Shivam Mavi, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine & Varun Chakravarthy
Openers: Venkatesh Iyer & Alex Hales
Kolkata Knight Riders surprised everyone when they didn’t retain their strongest opener in the last two years, Shubman Gill. Even if Gill isn’t the most belligerent name in T20 Cricket, he is the Player for the future. He was consistent for KKR, and he could only get better. Now that Shubman Gill is not there, KKR can fall back to their 2018 strategy of playing an overseas opener at the top.
From the available options, Alex Hales seems a strong bet to open alongside Venkatesh Iyer. The talented Englishman should find himself lucky to have landed in KKR. The Purple team has a few gaps, and his presence should only help them. Alongside Venkatesh, Alex Hales can form a formidable opening pair. Watch out for the Englishman as he can finally make a mark in IPL.
Middle-order: Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer (C) & Sheldon Jackson (WK)
Comparing KKR’s middle-order of 2021 vs 2022, the 2022 one seems equal if not better in potential. While 2021 had Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik, and Eoin Morgan, 2022 has Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer, and Sheldon Jackson. The 2022 team is playing a batter short, but that only adds more responsibility on Andre Russell and Sunil Narine.
The good thing for KKR is that not only have they found a strong leader in Shreyas Iyer but they have also found a consistent batter – the issue they faced with Eoin Morgan, who was poor as a batter. Shreyas Iyer can provide a good helping hand at number 4 so that the likes of Alex Hales, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, and Sunil Narine can play freely.
The only thing KKR would rue is a lack of solid wicket-keeping option. They have to play Sheldon Jackson at any cost in the lower middle-order. This gives the side more balance. However, Sheldon isn’t a big name in India. While there is definitely potential, it has to be converted into performance. Hoping for Sheldon to play good cameos in a star-studded lineup.
All-rounders: Andre Russell, Sunil Narine & Venkatesh Iyer
This is a strong area for Kolkata Knight Riders as they have three good all-rounders and 7 bowling options to choose from. The presence of Shreyas Iyer as captain and 7 bowling options is a winning combination. Iyer is a captain that plays to the player’s strength, and with so many bowling options, it would help Iyer manoeuvre the resources properly.
In addition, Venkatesh Iyer at the top and Andre Russell and Sunil Narine as finishers also adds a good depth in the batting. Venkatesh is a proven performer at the top and also as finisher for Team India. With Russel at 5 or 6, KKR can also think of playing Sunil Narine as an opener and Venkatesh Iyer as a finisher alongside Andre Russell.
Bowlers: Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy & Umesh Yadav
Coming to the bowlers, KKR have almost replicated their 2021 bowling with the likes of Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Sunil Narine, and Varun Chakravarthy. The only difference they have in their bowling is the presence of Umesh Yadav in place of Prasidh Krishna. While Umesh isn’t a bad bowler, Prasidh is actually a better bowler than him as of 2022.
Overall, KKR have a good bowling attack. In fact, they have 4 strong bowlers and 3 all-rounders. So, even if Umesh has a bad day, Shreyas Iyer can utilize the other bowling options to complete the quota of overs. Meanwhile, Pat Cummins will be the leader of the pace attack. Whereas Varun Chakravarthy shall lead the spin attack for KKR.
Best Predicted Playing 11 for Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL 2022:
Alex Hales, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer (C), Sheldon Jackson (WK), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy & Umesh Yadav
So, that completes the best predicted playing 11 for KKR for IPL 2022. Almost 8-9 player names are sorted, but there could be a few changes depending on the pitch and playing 11 combinations. So, barring the above-mentioned strongest predicted playing 11, Kolkata Knight Riders can also try for the following combinations.
Other Playing 11 Options for Kolkata Knight Riders:
- Ajinkya Rahane as an opener in place of Alex Hales with Sam Billings playing at 5 in place of Sheldon Jackson
- Sunil Narine and Alex Hales to open with Venkatesh Iyer playing as a finisher
- Anukul Roy in place of Umesh Yadav for spin-friendly conditions
- Ajinkya Rahane in place of Alex Hales and Mohammed Nabi in place of Umesh Yadav for more batting depth
Thanks for reading! What’s your playing 11 for KKR for IPL 2022? Please email your thoughts to email@example.com
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.