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IPL 2021: 3 players who could replace Sunil Narine as KKR's opener

Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine
FEATURED WRITER
Modified 07 Apr 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) failed to qualify for the playoffs in IPL 2020. A major reason for that was the failure of their misfiring opening pair of Sunil Narine and Shubman Gill.

Sunil Narine failed to get going alongside Shubman Gill, which meant that KKR failed to get good starts more often than not.

Three players who could replace Sunil Narine at the top of the order for KKR:

Sunil Narine only managed a meagre 121 runs in ten matches at a poor average of 13.44.

He especially struggled against the fast bowlers and couldn't make much of an impact. Considering his poor returns, KKR might consider a few other options to replace Sunil Narine at the top of the order.

On that note, let's take a look at three players who could replace Sunil Narine at the top of the order for KKR in IPL 2021.


#1 Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik, the out-of-favour Indian wicketkeeper-batsman, could likely open the innings for KKR this season.

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Karthik can rotate the strike well and play the big shots at ease. He can switch gears at will and play according to the situation. He is a seasoned campaigner and has played almost 200 IPLmatches.

Also, playing Karthik as the opening batsman would allow Shubam Gill to accelerate the KKR innings. Karthik would be determined to prove his mettle this season, as the ICC T20 World Cup is just a few months away.


#2 Nitish Rana

Nitish Rana
Nitish Rana

Nitish Rana has been a consistent performer for KKR over the years.

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The left-hander's sweep shot has always been a treat to watch, and he can take charge against any opposition. He has scored 1437 runs in 60 matches at an impressive strike rate of 135.56.

Nitish Rana also has the ability to convert his starts into big knocks if he plays at the top of the order. He played a match-winning knock of 83 off 51 balls against Delhi Capitals last season while opening the innings for KKR.

However, Rana has tested positive for COVID-19. So it remains to be seen when he'll be able to play a part in the tournament this season.

#3 Karun Nair

Karun Nair
Karun Nair

Karun Nair will look to redeem himself with some steady performances for KKR this year. After finishing as the third-highest run-scorer for KXIP in the 2018 IPL season, he has struggled for form this season.

However, in IPL 2021, Karun Nair should get ample chances to prove his worth. Karun Nair could also be one of the possible replacements for Sunil Narine as an opener for KKR, considering his ability to keep the scoreboard ticking and play the big shots in the powerplay overs.

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Karun Nair could be a vital player for KKR this season, as he has the ability to stabilise the innings and accelerate as per the match situation.

Published 07 Apr 2021, 12:30 IST
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