IPL 2020: 3 key decisions Kolkata Knight Riders should be making
Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the biggest if not the biggest cricketing tournament in a calendar year and this year, the 13th edition of the IPL is expected to be bigger and better.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the 2-time IPL champions - were quite busy during the IPL 2020 auctions as they paid a humongous ₹15.5 crores to secure the services of a certain Pat Cummins. It was a decision that left many fans bewildered.
Along with him, KKR signed Tom Banton, Varun Chakravarthy, Eoin Morgan, Rahul Tripathi, M Siddharth, and Pravin Tambe. Under their new coach, Brendon McCullum, KKR will have new expectations but before the season starts, the Kolkata franchise's Kiwi coach has some decisions to make.
Here, we are going to state the three decisions KKR should be making in IPL 2020.
#3 Not open the batting with Sunil Narine
KKR is a team that still runs on certain decisions made by their former charismatic skipper Gautam Gambhir as he was the one who decided to open the innings with Sunil Narine as a pinch hitter. But, after two or three years, teams have figured out a way to stop Narine from going bonkers in the first powerplay.
Narine's arch-nemesis is a short ball angled towards his body, which proved to be his undoing quite some times last season. Now that KKR have parted ways with Chris Lynn, it would be better if the Kolkata franchise decided to go with traditional openers in IPL 2020, instead of sending Narine with someone.
Shubham Gill and Rahul Tripathi/Tom Banton can form a brilliant opening partnership, something which many would love to see.
#2 Play either of Shivam Mavi or Kamlesh Nagarkoti
KKR currently have two of the most highly-rated young fast bowlers in India - Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi. While the former has missed two IPL seasons due to injuries, the latter missed the whole of IPL 2019 due to an injury.
Now, it is expected that both Nagarkoti and Mavi will be available for IPL 2020, so Brendon McCullum has to play at least one of them from the get-go as they will bring some rawness and fearlessness to the table.
Both Mavi and Nagarkoti are capable of bowling well over 140 km/hr; furthermore, both of them are unknown commodities in the IPL, so opposition batsmen might be caught surprised if any of the two play from the start.
#1 Send Andre Russell higher up the order
Andre Russell was KKR's heartthrob last season as he won the Kolkata franchise many matches single-handedly and right now, he is one of the most feared T20 batsmen going around in the world.
Russell should be playing higher up the order this year and one might go as far as to say that he should be sent in at number three or number four. Last season, at most, he got 10 overs to bat and look at what he did. Just imagine if he gets 13 or maybe 14 overs.
The West Indian is one of the best batsmen in the KKR line-up and quite simply, he should be given the most time to make an impact. And if someone like him has an impact on the game, the opposition might as well count themselves out of the match.
Published 10 Feb 2020, 22:58 IST