KKR have a superb squad as they get an overall team rating of 8.65 for IPL 2019. But, will they be able to win their third IPL trophy?
Kolkata Knight Riders had a good IPL 2018 as they finished their campaign in the third position. Dinesh Karthik’s captaincy played a huge role as he inspired a slightly inexperienced side to get the best out of them.
Coming to IPL 2019, we analyzed Kolkata Knight Riders’ strengths and weaknesses for IPL 2019 in our previous article. Don’t forget to check that out.
In this article, we will be focusing on rating the Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2019 squad in different categories, viz., Openers, Middle-order, All-rounders, Spinners, Pacers and Key backups in each category.
- We feel a perfect team combination would consist of two openers, three middle-order batsmen, one batting all-rounder, one bowling all-rounder, two spinners, two pacers and good backups in each category.
- Each category would have a maximum rating of 10 with a rating of 8 for key players and 2 for backups.
Right then, let’s look at the Kolkata Knight Riders’ team rating for IPL 2019.
Benchmark: David Warner (SRH)
Two Main Openers for KKR: Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine
Good Backup Openers: Robin Uthappa
Decent Backup Openers: Shubman Gill
Kolkata Knight Riders have a stable attacking duo of Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine at the top.
Chris Lynn has been performing really well at the top for KKR in the last few years. He had a good IPL 2018 too scoring 491 runs from 16 innings at an average of 32.73 and a strike rate of 130.23. Thus, he gets a rating of 3.5 out of 4.
Sunil Narine has successfully carried on the role of an attacking opening batsman for the last few years. In IPL 2018, he scored 357 runs from 16 innings at an average of 22.31 and a breathtaking strike rate of 189.89. For the role he is in, he gets a rating of 3.25 out of 4.
Robin Uthappa and Shubman Gill are fantastic backup options. Although based on KKR’s strategy to play Sunil Narine at the top, Uthappa would have to bat at number 3.
KKR get a rating of 2 out of 2 for the backup opening options.
Overall, Kolkata Knight Riders Openers Rating: 8.75/10
Benchmark: Virat Kohli (RCB) and AB de Villiers (RCB)
Three Solid Middle-order Players for KKR: Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik and Nitish Rana.
Good Backups: Rinku Singh and Shubman Gill
Decent Backups: Nikhil Naik
KKR have a solid middle-order in the form of Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik and Nitish Rana.
Robin Uthappa for years has been a key player for the Kolkata Knight Riders. In IPL 2018, he scored a total of 351 runs from 16 innings at an average of 21.93 and a strike rate of 132.45. Considering his potential, he can certainly do better. Thus, he gets a rating of 2.5 out of 3.
Over the years, Dinesh Karthik had developed a habit of generating a lot of hype before the IPL, but then performing poorly in the tournament. However, that changed in 2018 as captaincy got the best out of him. In IPL 2018, he scored a staggering 498 runs from 16 innings at an average of 49.8 and a strike rate of 147.77. For his dual role, he gets a rating of 2.75 out of 3.
Nitish Rana has been a decent batsman for KKR in the last couple of years. In IPL 2018 too, he scored a total of 304 runs from 15 innings at an average of 23.38 and a strike rate of 131.03. There is definitely a scope of improvement, hence, he gets a rating of 1.5 out of 2.
The talented, Shubman Gill and the hard-hitting, Rinku Singh provide for good middle-order backup options. It won’t be a surprise Shubman Gill pips Nitish Rana for that number 4 spot. Nikhil Naik is a decent backup available in the middle-order.
Hence, KKR get a rating of 1.5 out of 2 for middle-order backup options.
Overall, Kolkata Knight Riders Middle-order Rating: 8.25/10
Benchmark: Andre Russel (KKR) as the batting all-rounder and Sunil Narine (KKR) as the bowling all-rounder
Batting All-rounder for KKR: Andre Russel
Bowling All-rounder for KKR: Sunil Narine
Batting All-rounder Backup: Joe Denly and Shrikant Mundhe
Bowling All-rounder Backup: Carlos Braithwaite
This is the area KKR excel perfectly. They have IPL’s best duo of batting and bowling all-rounder in the form of Andre Russel and Sunil Narine respectively.
Andre Russel has been a key member of KKR for many years now. He not only gets you those useful quick runs in the slog overs but also provides those important break-throughs in the middle.
He had a successful IPL 2018 too as he scored 316 runs at a strike rate of 184.79 and took 13 wickets at an average of 27.3. The best thing about Russel is that he is a match winner, and can single-handedly win you at least 2-3 matches.
Sunil Narine has transformed himself wonderfully from a superb spin bowler to a superb spin bowling all-rounder. Even after scoring tons of runs at the top, his bowling didn’t get affected. Last year, he took a total of 17 wickets from 16 innings at an average of 27.47 and an economy rate of 7.65.
It is very difficult to find someone who can score as many runs and take as many wickets a these two do.
Thus, being the benchmarks, they both get a rating of 4 out of 4.
KKR have solid middle-order backups too in the form of Joe Denly, Shrikant Munde and Carlos Braithwaite. It would be interesting to see how KKR use Joe Denly and Carlos Braithwaite considering overseas players’ restrictions.
Thus, KKR get a rating of 1.75 out of 2 for all-rounder backup options.
Overall, Kolkata Knight Riders All-rounders Rating: 9.75/10
Benchmark: Rashid Khan (SRH)
Two Main Spinners for KKR: Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav
Good Backup Spinners: Piyush Chawla
Decent Backup Spinners: Joe Denly and KC Cariappa.
KKR have probably one of the best spin bowling attacks in the IPL. Sunil Narine is already a household name in the spin bowling department and Kuldeep Yadav has already established himself at the International level.
Kuldeep Yadav had a fantastic IPL 2018 too as he took 17 wickets from 16 innings at an average of 24.58 and an economy rate of 8.14. Although he has a lot of potential, he is yet to match the performance of Rashid Khan or Sunil Narine. Thus, he gets a rating of 3.5 out of 4 while Narine gets a rating of 3.75 out of 4.
Piyush Chawla provides for a good backup option. He did well in IPL 2018 too taking 14 wickets from 15 innings at an average of 29.42 and an economy rate of 8.4.
Coming to decent backups, KKR have Joe Denly and KC Cariappa.
Thus, KKR get a rating of 1.75 out of 2 for spin bowling backup options.
Overall, Kolkata Knight Riders Spinners Rating: 9/10
Benchmark: Jasprit Bumrah (MI)
Two Main Pacers for KKR: Lockie Ferguson and Prasidh Krishna
Good Backup Pacers: Carlos Braithwaite, Harry Gurney and Anrich Nortje
Decent Backup Pacers: Sandeep Warrier and Prithvi Raj
Perhaps the only weakness in the KKR team. They already had an inexperienced bowling attack, and to add salt to the wound, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi were ruled out of the tournament owing to an injury.
Considering the options, Lockie Ferguson and Prasidh Krishna would have to lead the pace bowling department for KKR.
Lockie has been performing well for New Zealand off-late, and would be the first-choice pace bowler in case they decide not to play Carlos Braithwaite. Thus, for the potential and International performances, he gets a rating of 3 out of 4.
Prasidh Krishna had an impressive debut season last year as he took a total of 10 wickets from 7 innings at an average of 26 and an economy rate of 9.28. He would have to once again lead the KKR’s pace bowling attack in the absence of Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti. Thus, he too gets a rating of 3 out of 4.
Coming to the good backups, KKR have plenty of overseas options in the form of Harry Gurney and Anrich Nortje.
The injuries to Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi has certainly created a void, and that may affect their combinations.
Thus, KKR get a rating of 1.5 out 2 for pace bowling backup options.
Overall, Kolkata Knight Riders Pacers Rating: 7.5/10
Kolkata Knight Riders have a good squad this time around too. Their strengths are their openers, spinners and all-rounders It would be interesting to see how Dinesh Karthik inspires this side to get their hands on their third IPL trophy.
Assuming all players are available, an ideal Playing XI for Kolkata Knight Riders would be:
Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Andre Russel, Carlos Braithwaite, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, and Prasidh Krishna.
Overall, Kolkata Knight Riders get a team rating of 8.6/10
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricket.
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.