Two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders will likely be striving for consistency of their bid to recreate outdated magic which has been misplaced throughout a troublesome part of rebuilding after Gautam Gambhir’s departure.
Be it the opening mixture, middle-order or discovering a finisher, KKR struggled for stability within the final version within the UAE, whereas a change of captaincy on the midway stage didn’t assist them both.
Add the floundering types of their two greatest Caribbean stars — a half-fit Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, who will not be even half the bowler after being repeatedly known as for suspect motion, KKR missed the playoffs for a second time in a row within the Gambhir period.
This is is a SWOT evaluation of the aspect that can tackle Sunrisers Hyderabad of their season-opener in Chennai on April 11.
In Eoin Morgan, his first stint as full-time KKR captain, the Purple Brigade have gotten one of the astute brains of the white-ball format. The English World Cup-winning skipper, who took over the function after seven video games final season, was one of many brightspots for the group in 2020.
The left-hander struck 418 runs in 14 innings at a median of 41.80 and in addition hit essentially the most sixes (24), giving impetus within the demise overs along with his cameos.
KKR have made some good additions to their squad within the mini-auction, other than retaining their core of the aspect — 17 gamers — regardless of a disappointing season.
By bringing again Bangladesh star all-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan and signing 2016 IPL Remaining man-of-the-match Ben Chopping, they’ve the much-needed back-ups for the Windies duo of Narine and Russell, who failed to fireplace final season.
KKR can even be buoyed by the smash-hit worldwide debut of Prasidh Krishna, who took four/54 within the first ODI in opposition to England within the recently-concluded collection.
This might additionally imply KKR would have a settled tempo assault spearheaded by Aussie celebrity Pat Cummins with Lockie Ferguson because the back-up choice.
As soon as their power, KKR of late has struggled within the spin division. Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav is a shadow of his previous and retuned with only one wicket in 5 matches, of which he was not given the ball in a single. One of many architects of their twin triumphs in 2012 and 2014 underneath Gambhir, Sunil Narine can be floundering.
Narine’s motion as soon as once more got here to hang-out him in 2020 as he was warned of suspect motion and went on to overlook 4 matches. Earlier than that he needed to be pulled out of CPL remaining for Trinbago Knight Riders as he was discovered chucking.
It was one other thriller spinner, Varun Chakravarthy a Tamil Naud architect-turned-cricketer who took up the accountability in Narine’s absence to complete with most wickets — 17 — for KKR.
However Chakravarthy’s health has come underneath the scanner again and again because it stays to be seen how he shapes up for the IPL.
Having determined to step away from being captain to “give attention to his batting”, Dinesh Karthik too will look to make amends in 2021.
Then there are the seasoned duo of Shakib-Al-Hasan and veteran Indian offspinner Harbhajan Singh who too will look to make many of the restricted alternatives that come their manner on gradual tracks on supply in Delhi and Chennai.
KKR have two attention-grabbing uncapped new signings in Venkatesh Iyer and Vaibhav Arora, who too will look to seize their alternatives. Left-hand Madhya Pradesh batsman Iyer is recent from a blistering 146-ball 198 in opposition to Punjab within the Vijay Harare Trophy.
Himachal Pradesh medium-pacer Arora is within the type of his life after taking a hat-trick on debut in opposition to Maharashtra within the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
KKR would wish good begin from opener Shubman Gill to provide higher begins this 12 months within the Powerplay overs. Gill consumed loads of deliveries upfront in most video games which did create strain on middle-order.
The Morgan-led aspect would look to make sure that they get a profitable mixture, one thing that eluded them final time as they might be determined to make the reduce.
KKR Squad for IPL 2021: Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Tim Seifert, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Harbhajan Singh, Karun Nair, Ben Chopping, Venkatesh Iyer and Pawan Negi.