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IPL 2021: Aakash Chopra picks the Kolkata Knight Riders' ideal playing XI

The Kolkata Knight Riders squad has most of the bases covered. [P/C:]
The Kolkata Knight Riders squad has most of the bases covered. [P/C:]
Kartik Iyer
Modified 03 Apr 2021

Aakash Chopra has picked the Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) ideal playing XI for IPL 2021. He made his selections in a video shared on his YouTube channel.

The Kolkata Knight Riders have an excellent combination of youth and experience in their squad. While overseas professionals bring in most of the experience, Indian players provide the exuberance of youth.

Aakash Chopra opted for an Indian opening combination, with skipper Eoin Morgan as the only overseas player in the top five in his ideal Kolkata Knight Riders' XI.

"I will have Tripathi as an opener with Gill. I will keep Nitish Rana at No.3, Morgan at No.4 and Dinesh Karthik at No.5. This is your top five," said Chopra.

The cricketer-turned-commentator believes Pat Cummins can play the big-hitters role at No.7 for the Kolkata Knight Riders, with Andre Russell batting a rung above him.

"Now you keep Andre Russell at No.6. If you keep him at No.6, the slight question will be whom will you bat at No.7. I would say try with Pat Cummins," added Chopra.

Pat Cummins demonstrated his ability with the bat in IPL 2020 with some quickfire knocks. However, the Kolkata Knight Riders will be more concerned about the fitness and form of Andre Russell, as that could decide their fate in the tournament.


Aakash Chopra's pick of bowlers in his ideal Kolkata Knight Riders XI

Prasidh Krishna
Prasidh Krishna's excellent performances for India should earn him a spot in the Kolkata Knight Riders XI.

Aakash Chopra reckons Varun Chakravarthy and Prasidh Krishna should be two of the Indians in the Kolkata Knight Riders bowling attack.

"If you keep Pat Cummins at No.7, you will have four proper bowlers after that. Varun Chakravarthy and Prasidh Krishna can be there in that. That makes it two," said Chopra.

The former Kolkata Knight Riders player believes the franchise can choose between Lockie Ferguson's pace or the spin duo of Sunil Narine and Shakib Al Hasan as the fourth overseas option.

"You have picked only three overseas. So, depending on the pitch you can pick an overseas fast bowler like Lockie Ferguson. You can also pick Sunil Narine or Shakib Al Hasan. You can also play Kuldeep Yadav," added Chopra.

The 43-year-old concluded by stating that the Kolkata Knight Riders should entertain the thought of leaving out Sunil Narine if he is not at the top of his game.

"They should just open up to the idea of dropping Sunil Narine, if things are not working out. He is a big player but his bowling has not been that sharp since questions were raised about his action," signed off Chopra.

The inclusion of Shakib Al Hasan in the Kolkata Knight Riders squad has given the Knight Riders an excellent backup option for Sunil Narine and Andre Russell if they are bothered by form or fitness-related issues.

Published 03 Apr 2021, 10:31 IST
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