IPL 2019: Three biggest match-winners for Kolkata Knight Riders
The IPL auctions are done and dusted, and the teams are all ready to go. Every team has a squad that looks strong enough to fancy their chances to get into the play offs. It was a well balanced auction and every team left the auction room with a smile on their face. Every team has some players who could potentially play a significant role in how far their team goes in the tournament.
Here is a look at three such players of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) who will have a big role to play in how far the team goes in this year's edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL):
The star all-rounder from the Caribbean has almost become the mascot of the Kolkata Knight Riders. He has had the trust of the KKR authorities for many years now, and he makes sure they invest in him for the next season as well.
He is a perfect fast bowling all-rounder one can ask for. He bowls at speeds which are upwards of 140 kmph, and bats with the power that can make the ball disappear long way into the sky. He has been playing IPL since 2012, but only since the 2015 season has he been a regular in the playing eleven.
In the 50 matches so far, he has an absolute insane strike rate of over 177. His bowling has also reaped rewards for KKR with 47 wickets coming at an average of a little over 28. He has been an asset for KKR and he will continue being one in the coming years as well. There have been matches in every season that have had Russell's name written on them, and in those matches, there is no stopping this man. KKR will hope that there are more of those matches in IPL 2019.
The newly appointed captain of KKR last season, led the so called depleted team very well to carry it to the playoffs. A team of only 17 players then, was too less to stand a chance. But 2018 was a year of doing the impossible for this man, who scored 29 runs of just 8 balls in the finals of the Nidahas trophy, which included a 6 off the last ball to win the tournament for India.
In his first season as the captain of an IPL side, he scored 498 runs at an astounding average of almost 50. He was an absolute gem of a captain and the team from Kolkata will only hope that their captain can carry them closer to that trophy this time around. Dinesh Karthik, for the way he handles crunch situations and carries his team along, and also his batting, is surely a match-winner for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Shubman Gill is a young 19-year-old boy from Punjab who was a part of the U-19 Indian team that won the World Cup in New Zealand last year. In that tournament, he had a whopping average of 104.5.
Owing to this rate of scoring, and this consistency, he was bought by KKR in the 2018 auction for 1.8 Cr. He was given the opportunity straight away by the KKR management, as he played 13 matches, scoring 203 runs at a strike rate close to 150.
Post IPL, he has had a very good run in the Ranji Trophy as well, where he smacked 286 runs against Tamil Nadu in December. As of now, he has also been named in India's limited overs squad that will play in New Zealand. He has had quite an eventful year, reaching new heights in no time. He will hope that he has that touch when the IPL starts and he is able to score big this time and win matches for his team.
KKR, though a small squad has some amazing stars like Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Carlos Brathwaite, Kuldeep Yadav and Robin Uthappa, who can also turn matches around for them in the upcoming season.