IPL 2018: Why Kolkata Knight Riders will have to show confidence in their youngsters
The Knight Riders have plenty of promising young talents in their squad.
The Indian Premier League is an extremely beneficial platform for youngsters to make their name and leave an impact. The IPL had lead the foundation of many current superstars and it has always been a talent-producing league.
The auctions for the 11th season of IPL witnessed some new and young faces going under the hammer. There were some surprising bidding wars and some obvious ones as well for players who have been performing consistently in the domestic circuit.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have been one of the most frequent buyers for young Indians over the past few years. They have helped fast-tracked the rise of chinaman exponent Kuldeep Yadav and have also brought players like KC Cariappa as well as Ankit Rajpoot into the limelight.
However, the Knight Riders have faced a lot of criticism regarding their team selection this time, and rightly so. They have not managed to build a side as lethal as it had been in the past. For the 2018 season, the team does have a number of young uncapped players who do possess the potential to live up to the expectations and perform well.
Following a mixed show in the 2018 mega auction, the Knight Riders squad lacks experience after the departure of Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey. The management will now have to show a lot of confidence in the youngsters.
Kolkata Knight Riders have as many as nine uncapped players in the squad. They can be bifurcated into six batsmen and three bowlers.
Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Cameron Delport (overseas), Ishank Jaggi, Apoorv Wankhade and Rinku Singh
Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Javon Searles (overseas)
Shubman Gill is one of the most promising talents in India. Gill put up a stellar show in the recently concluded Under-19 World Cup and was one of the main reasons for India's fourth title win. The young Punjab batsman batted beautifully throughout the tournament and scored 324 runs in five innings averaging 124. He might turn out to be a regular starter for Knight Riders considering the fact that they have lost both Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey.
Nitish Rana has been a brilliant find by Mumbai Indians. He has played some attacking cricket in the last few seasons and turned out to be a match winner for them on various occasions. The left-handed batsman was the second highest run getter for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy this season and is surely a good buy for the Knight Riders. He knows how it is to play in the IPL and has faced dangerous bowling attacks as well. He has already played in a team that boasted superstars of this format of the game.
Cameron Delport might not be get too many chances seeing KKR's pool of foreign players. However, he is a handy all rounder and can be used as a backup. He has a lot of experience and has played quite a few professional T20 leagues.
Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti are two other Under-19 stars. Buying them is surely a long term investment for KKR as the two pacers already clock 140 kph on a regular basis. The duo performed exceptionally well in the Under-19 World Cup.
Seamer Javon Searles has shone for the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League. He can be very helpful on bowler friendly pitches and will be hungry to make a mark for Kolkata Knight Riders in the upcoming IPL season.
What we can make out is that the Knight Riders have plenty promising talents in the squad. On a scale of 100, their squad may have gone from 90 to 85. But the blend of experience and youth could very well see them repeat history and win the IPL.