The Kolkata Knight Riders finished fifth in IPL 2020, narrowly missing out on a playoff spot. They were hit hard by injuries and poor form of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine. KKR will hope that the duo will be back to their best in the upcoming edition of the league.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra made a few predictions regarding the Kolkata Knight Riders for the IPL 2021 season.
The former Kolkata Knight Riders player reckons the franchise could just scrape through to the playoffs but may not be one of the table-toppers.
"They are a mid-table team, which means they could be no. 4 or no. 5. So there is a possibility of qualifying, but I am not expecting them to qualify no. 1, 2 or 3. I am expecting them to qualify as no.4, towards the end they could start coming back and qualify. They have a 50-50 chance of qualifying is what I feel," said Chopra.
Aakash Chopra also feels the Kolkata Knight Riders' death overs bowling could prove to be an area of concern for them.
"They could be the most expensive team in the death overs. All their bowlers are good with the new ball or in the middle-overs. Pat Cummins does not bowl in the death, and it is generally not possible for Pat and Lockie to play together," observed Chopra.
"Varun Chakravarthy can become the Kolkata Knight Riders' highest wicket-taker again" - Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra believes Varun Chakravarthy could repeat his last year's exploits for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021 as long as he can address his fitness concerns.
"Varun Chakravarthy can again become their highest wicket-taker. He is a very good bowler, but there is a fitness issue with him. If he is fit, according to me, he will take a lot of wickets, and this time the matches will be played in India. He is a mystery spinner and could even be effective in Bangalore, where they'll play a lot of matches," said Chopra.
The 43-year-old also picked Shubman Gill as the highest boundary-hitter for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021.
"Shubman Gill to hit the most number of fours. He will play as an opener and play all the 14 matches of the league phase. I am expecting him to hit more fours than anybody else in this entire team," opined Chopra.
Shubman Gill will hope to be back to his best in IPL 2021 after a rather indifferent Test series against England.
The Kolkata Knight Riders will rely on Shubhman Gill to play the anchor's role, thereby giving the freedom to the other batsmen to take the attack to the opposition bowlers.