After a disappointing 2019 season, Kolkata Knight Riders have made wholesome changes to their squad. The team parted ways with some big names who had been part of the squad for a long time. And amongst those was Australian batsman Chris Lynn.
Lynn was a key member of the KKR setup but was left out of the squad for IPL 2020. Now that the Aussie is out of the team, KKR will need to find a new opening combination.
Here, we look at 5 opening options KKR could use in IPL 2020.
#5 Rahul Tripathi
Rahul came into the limelight after a superlative performance in his debut IPL season for Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017. Tripathi was part of the Rajasthan Royals' squad in the next two seasons before he was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders at the 2020 auction.
Despite enjoying success as an opener while playing for Rising Pune Supergiant, Tripathi batted in the middle-order more often than not for RR. Considering his impressive past record as an opener, KKR might try him at the top of the order this year.
#4 Siddhesh Lad
Siddhesh Lad has been a mainstay of Mumbai in domestic cricket for years. Lad finally got his chance in the IPL when he made his debut for Mumbai Indians against KXIP last year.
Even though he scored just 15 runs opening the innings in that encounter, and did not get another game, it was very clear that Lad was seen as an opening option by Mumbai Indians. KKR might take cue from that and use Lad as an opener in 2020.
#3 Sunil Narine
The experiment of using Sunil Narine as opener has done wonders for KKR, as Narine has played some match-winning innings at the top.
From being a temporary arrangement, Narine eventually became KKR's first-choice opener. Along with Chris Lynn, Narine formed one of the most dangerous opening pairs in the tournament.
It will be interesting to see whether KKR persist with Narine at the top, or drop him down the batting order.
#2 Tom Banton
Tom Banton shot into prominence after producing a string of eye-catching performances in the Natwest T20 Blast. The wicket-keeper batsman then represented Brisbane Heat in the Big bash League 2019-20, where he hit the second-fastest fifty in the history of the tournament.
Banton's batting style has often drawn comparisons with former England international Kevin Pietersen, and he will be one of the most-watched players in IPL 2020.
#1 Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill is considered to be the next big thing in Indian cricket. Gill has been extremely impressive for his state side Punjab and India A, and the 20-year-old has been part of Kolkata Knight Riders' since 2018.
While he batted in the middle-order in 2018, he was used an opener in the latter half of the 2019 edition, where he hit his straps. Gill is expected to get a longer run as an opener this year. A good IPL season might put him in the reckoning for a place in India's T20 World Cup squad too.Published 16 Feb 2020, 14:58 IST