Seven years on from their second IPL title in three years, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are nonetheless in search of their third championship win. A turbulent final season, the place KKR have been compelled to alter captain halfway, noticed them end fifth.
This time although, KKR have arguably the perfect white-ball captain within the sport, Eoin Morgan, from the very begin.
Their IPL 2021 public sale buys appear to be fairly shrewd too. Shakib Al Hasan, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Reducing, Pawan Negi, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora and Venkatesh Iyer, have been all added to their roster.
Andre Russell and Pat Cummins, two of their most vital stars, are absolutely match this time and raring to go. Whereas KKR look good on paper and are odds on to make the playoffs, they may nonetheless discover it exhausting to go all the way in which. Right here’s why:
#3 Opening points
Whereas the KKR middle-order (Shakib Al Hasan, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik & Andre Russell) is without doubt one of the strongest on paper, it could be left with an excessive amount of to deal with.
Shubman Gill is bound to carry on to one of many opening spots however it’s nonetheless unclear who will associate him up high.
KKR may go along with Sunil Narine – having launched Tom Banton – or Rahul Tripathi, who completed final season strongly. Nitish Rana is another choice for the opener’s slot however he can bat at three too.
However it’s unlikely that Narine might be picked up, as that will imply benching one among Shakib and Cummins. That would depart rather a lot on the shoulders of Rana and Tripathi.
Gill, too, might want to higher his strike-rate of 117.96 from final season. Their top-order clearly isn’t their strongest forte, which can pull them again in essential encounters.
#2 Spin-bowling not robust sufficient
KKR has a plethora of spinners to select from however none encourage sufficient confidence to cause them to the title.
Varun Chakravarthy would do nicely to duplicate his numbers from 2020 – 17 wickets in 10 matches & an financial system price of seven.10. However he has had health points just lately and simply missed out on a possible India debut due to it.
Kuldeep Yadav has struggled with type over the past two years and his confidence has hit all-time low. Harbhajan Singh and Pawan Negi have each been purchased on the public sale, however they aren’t fairly championship-winning materials.
Sunil Narine has picked up greater than 15 wickets solely as soon as, and greater than 10 twice within the final 5 seasons.
KKR will hope that Chakravarthy stays match and may deal with the spin-bowling division with Shakib Al Hasan.
#1 Group mixture
KKR struggled to zero in on a settled staff mixture early final 12 months, which in the end price them a playoff spot. Other than the fixed shuffling of the opening pairs, KKR couldn’t resolve on a settled center order both.
Morgan, Karthik and Russell have been all despatched up and down the order. Rahul Tripathi was performed down at quantity six earlier than his promotion to the highest.
In the event that they repeat final season’s mistake this time round too, this might flip into one other disappointing season.
They might want to discover the precise staff stability and stability within the batting order with each participant given an outlined position. However even then they may discover it exhausting to go all the way in which in IPL 2021.