"There could be an over-dependence on Mitchell Starc" - Aakash Chopra on KKR's potential weaknesses heading into IPL 2024

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Mitchell Starc is expected to lead KKR's seam-bowling attack.

Aakash Chopra reckons the Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) likely over-dependence on Mitchell Starc in the seam-bowling department could be a potential weakness in IPL 2024.

The Kolkata-based franchise bought Starc for a whopping ₹24.75 crore at the IPL 2024 auction. Gus Atkinson was their other overseas seam-bowling pick. However, the England pacer has opted out of the upcoming edition of the prestigious league and has been replaced by Dushmantha Chameera.

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra opined that the Kolkata Knight Riders' potential over-reliance on Starc could prove to be a stumbling block for them.

"They have bought Mitchell Starc for such a huge price. So they will play him for sure. When you make their XI, you will have an overseas opener, and then Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, which means you can play an overseas fast bowler," he said (8:55).
"You will not play Dushmantha Chameera there. You are going to play Mitchell Starc for sure. Why else would you have paid him close to 25 crores? However, there could be an over-dependence on Mitchell Starc," the former KKR player added.
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Chopra noted that the likes of Harshit Rana and Andre Russell don't instill enough confidence.

"He will have Harshit Rana alongside him. I like him, he has a lot of upside, but he is not a finished product yet. Andre Russell's bowling is 50-50, as you know already. So their potential over-dependence on Mitchell Starc in fast bowling bothers me a little, that will it become a weakness?" he stated.

With seven scalps at an economy rate of 11.34, Russell was KKR's highest wicket-taker last year among the retained seamers. While the now-released Shardul Thakur also picked up seven wickets, Rana and Vaibhav Arora accounted for five dismissals apiece.


"If the home pitches are not turning and are favorable for fast bowling, it will go against them" - Aakash Chopra on KKR's other potential weakness

The Eden Gardens pitch assisted the spinners during last year's ODI World Cup.
The Eden Gardens pitch assisted the spinners during last year's ODI World Cup.

Aakash Chopra feels the Kolkata Knight Riders could be hit hard if the Eden Gardens pitch is not spin-friendly.

"The second thing is that if Eden Gardens doesn't have pitches that suit them, it could become a potential weakness. If the home pitches are not turning and are favorable for fast bowling, it will go against them," he said (9:40).
"It happened last year with Lucknow. Gautam (Gambhir) was also there. If the same thing happens here, then he will be very disappointed. That could be a potential setback if that happens. Eden Gardens guys - prepare a turning pitch," the reputed commentator added.

KKR have a plethora of riches in the spin-bowling department. While they already had Sunil Narine, Varun Chakaravarthy, Suyash Sharma and Anukul Roy in their squad, they also acquired Mujeeb Ur Rahman at the auction last year.

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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