Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has picked his ideal playing XI for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for IPL 2020. He pointed out that the Kolkata-based franchise could have a few problems with their death bowling.
Aakash Chopra went about the task of picking the strongest possible Kolkata Knight Riders lineup for the upcoming IPL in a video shared on his Facebook page.
The renowned commentator picked Sunil Narine to bat at the top of the order for Kolkata Knight Riders, considering the spin-bowling all-rounder's excellent hitting form in the recently concluded CPL.
"I am picking Sunil Narine at No.1. He is a very good player, he opens and hits a lot. He did amazingly well in all the matches in the CPL. He will do well in batting and he is a terrific bowler anyway."
He chose Shubman Gill to open the batting for Kolkata Knight Riders along with Narine while hoping that the classy Punjab batsman becomes a regular member of the Indian team soon.
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"I want to have Shubman Gill opening with Sunil Narine. Some of the cricketers of his age like Prithvi Shaw and Haider Ali are playing for their countries, so he should also be given opportunities."
Aakash Chopra picked Nitish Rana to bat at No. 3 in his ideal Kolkata Knight Riders playing XI, with the dashing batsman giving the team another left-handed option.
"At No.3, I want to play Nitish Rana. He will provide another left-handed option."
Aakash Chopra hoped that the Kolkata Knight Riders' captain Dinesh Karthik bats at No. 4 in IPL 2020 to enhance his chances of making it to the Indian team as a wicket-keeper-batsman.
"At No.4 is the captain Dinesh Karthik. I will advice him to bat at No.4 if he wants to push Pant and Rahul for the wicket-keeper's spot, now that Dhoni is not there, as he will need a couple of good IPLs."
Eoin Morgan got the nod to bat at the No. 5 position in Aakash Chopra's preferred Kolkata Knight Riders playing XI with the England skipper coming into the IPL in terrific batting form.
"At No.5 I have Eoin Morgan. He is the England captain and is coming after playing some quickfire knocks. He will be another left-hander in their batting lineup."
The former Kolkata Knight Riders player chose Andre Russell to bat at No. 6 while opining that the big-hitting all-rounder should go in to bat when there are seven overs or so to go in the innings. He also added that the franchise's finishing strength is one of the best in IPL 2020, along with that of the Mumbai Indians.
"At No.6, I have got Andre Russell. He can come up the order as well. He should be sent when around 40 deliveries are left in the innings. Kolkata Knight Riders are almost on par with Mumbai Indians when it comes to finishing."
Aakash Chopra reckoned that Kolkata Knight Riders could have a slight problem at No. 7, with none of the available options in Rinku Singh, Siddhesh Lad and Rahul Tripathi proficient to bat at that position.
"At No.7, they have a slight problem. They can play Rinku Singh, Siddhesh Lad or Rahul Tripathi but none of them is a No.7 batsman."
Aakash Chopra's selection of bowlers in his ideal Kolkata Knight Riders XI
Aakash Chopra picked Pat Cummins as his premier seam bowler, with the most expensive pick at the IPL auction capable of handling the willow as well.
"At No.8, I have got Pat Cummins. He was the most expensive pick at the auctions and he also bats well."
The 42-year-old chose Kuldeep Yadav as the specialist spinner in his ideal Kolkata Knight Riders playing XI while predicting that the left-arm wrist-spinner will dish out excellent performances in the upcoming IPL.
"At No.9, I have got Kuldeep Yadav. You can take it in writing from me that this year he will do well in the IPL. He can be a little expensive at times but he will be a match-winner."
Prasidh Krishna was Aakash Chopra's pick as the first Indian pace bowler, and the latter observed that the Kolkata Knight Riders' death bowling could be a concern for them.
"At No.10, you will definitely play Prasidh Krishna. He can prove to be expensive at times, so they will have death-bowling problems."
Aakash Chopra signed off by giving Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Sandeep Warrier as the three options for Kolkata Knight Riders for the final Indian pacer's spot.
"At No.11, I am giving three options - Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Sandeep Warrier"
Aakash Chopra's ideal Kolkata Knight playing XI: Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Rinku Singh/Siddhesh Lad/Rahul Tripathi, Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi/Kamlesh Nagarkoti/Sandeep Warrier
Published 15 Sep 2020, 11:51 IST