IPL 2019: Ideal playing XI for Kolkata Knight Riders
IPL 2019 is approaching quickly, with just more than a month remaining for the start of the season. Most of the teams would be planning their moves and strategies already. And this time, the teams will have to be very clever in their tactics as they will be juggling between the elections and the upcoming World Cup 2019.
Each of the teams might have already framed a rough probable team that would take the field in their respective opening matches. KKR, who have already won two IPL titles, seem to have a good enough team to make it three titles this year.
On that note, here is a look at the best XI for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The openers for are 2 players who have been with the team for quite some time now. Chris Lynn will open the innings, subject to his availability, along with Sunil Narine. Narine's slogging availability will help KKR get a good start in their power play overs.
But if Lynn is not available, Robin Uthappa will be slotted in at the top alongside Narine.
Go past the openers and a young gun could walk out with the willow - Shubman Gill should ideally be the No. 3 for the KKR. Last year, he was used in the middle order and could not perform up to the caliber he showed in the U-19 World Cup. Hopefully, KKR won't repeat that mistake this year, and Gill will be batting where he feels at home - at No. 3.
Two wickets into the Knight Riders' line-up should bring in Nitish Rana. He had a good season last year with the KKR, scoring 300+ runs in 15 matches. He also contributed with the ball, taking 4 wickets. The young lad from Delhi will hope to make his profile stronger this season, and eventually maybe get into the Indian team too.
At No. 5 should come in the captain of the Kolkata team, Dinesh Karthik. He is another player with ample experience after Uthappa at the top, and will lend balance to the side.
The youngsters will be on the explosive side of things and try to knock the ball all over the park. Karthik meanwhile will try and help KKR revive from a shock collapse on an odd day, and his experience will help hold the innings together.
At No. 6 should come one of the best all-rounders in the world, an absolute bona fide T20 specialist and a runaway match-winner, Andre Russell. Last year, in the 16 matches he played, he scored 316 runs at an astounding strike-rate of 184; he also accounted for 13 wickets.
Russell can score big runs in the least possible balls, and take the team out of the most difficult of situations.
Now at No. 7 will be another player from the Caribbean, Carlos Brathwaithe. He's another fast bowling all-rounder who is an absolute punisher of the ball. He can be very lethal, just like Russell. If a team bowls to Russell at one end and Brathwaithe at another, they are not going to have a very good experience.
So in the top 7, KKR would have 5 proper batsmen, 2 keepers and a total of 10 overs already covered. This is the kind of balance that all teams hope for.
With Narine as the opener, all the overseas slots are done, so the next three players would have to be Indian. In that case, KKR should go with Kuldeep Yadav as their second spinner, while Prasidh Krishna one of the two pacers.
The last player can be variable, and can be picked according to the conditions. Considering the fact that there are already 3 fast-bowling options and 3 spin bowling options in the team, KKR can either go with Shivam Mavi or Kamlesh Nagarkoti or with their veteran spinner, Piyush Chawla.
Another possibility here is that in the absence of Lynn the line-up will move upwards, so then Chawla will be the last man in the team.
Overall, KKR, though a small team, have a well-built unit with ample options to play around with.