Former Indian opening batsman Aakash Chopra has opined that Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will effectively be playing with 10 players in their playing XI in IPL 2020. He reasoned that the franchise doesn't have a proper player for the No. 7 role.
Chopra made this observation while talking about the weaknesses in the KKR squad for the upcoming IPL in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra mentioned that KKR have a couple of weaknesses in their squad, with the first one being that they are effectively going to take the field with just ten players instead of eleven. He reasoned that a proper batsman like Rahul Tripathi, Siddhesh Lad or Rinku Singh at No. 7 would be almost completely useless.
"I see two problems for KKR. The first one is that they are going to play with 10 players. If they make Sunil Narine open, they will have to send one out of Rahul Tripathi, Siddhesh Lad or Rinku Singh at No.7. What will you do with a proper batsman at No.7?"
"And if you get someone like Rahul Tripathi to open along with Shubman Gill, then Sunil Narine the batsman will be of no use to you. You do want to take advantage of the Powerplay overs. So, you will have to open with Sunil Narine."
Aakash Chopra added that it is not the best of situations, but stated that KKR would have to make do with what they have.
"Because of that they will play with only 10 players. It is a little sad but that's the way it is."
Aakash Chopra on the other weakness in the KKR squad
Aakash Chopra observed that the other weakness in the KKR squad is their death bowling, with even Pat Cummins not as potent in the end overs as someone like Jasprit Bumrah, Jofra Archer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kagiso Rabada.
"The other weakness is death bowling. Because even after they have taken Pat Cummins, he is still not considered as one of the gun death bowlers like Bumrah, Jofra, Bhuvi or Rabada, he is not in that league."
The former KKR player added that the franchise's Indian pace bowling quartet of Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Sandeep Warrier is also not the greatest in bowling at the death.
"He bowls a little short, may still be very successful. And in the Indian fast bowling they have Mavi, Prasidh Krishna, Nagarkoti and Sandeep Warrier. So their death bowlers are not that strong."
Aakash Chopra signed off by opining that their death bowling could be a huge concern for KKR in IPL 2020.
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"So, death bowling could be an actual serious concern when it comes to KKR."
KKR could also opt to bowl Andre Russell at the death if the need arises, subject to his fitness. Even Sunil Narine could do the job if the pitches in the UAE assist spin, although there is an injury cloud over him as well.
Published 16 Sep 2020, 10:35 IST