Over-reliance on core group can be double-edged sword for ‘Men in Purple’

Through the years the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have been one Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise which is thought for making their presence felt — whether or not it’s on or off the sector or within the auctions. Nevertheless, this flamboyant method did maybe price Venky Mysore (KKR CEO) throughout this 12 months’s mega public sale after they spent a whopping amount of cash to get Shreyas Iyer on board and to retain their core. These purchases left Knight Riders with out a huge chunk of their purse whereas going for high quality backups. Although a late push in the direction of the tip did handle to plug a number of the holes, however going into this new season their squad appears a bit depleted in comparison with final 12 months.

Shreyas Iyer led Delhi Capitals to their first IPL remaining within the 2020 season. Picture: KKR Media

Sure, the core of the squad — Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Varun Chakravarthy, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana — is just about intact. On prime of that they now have one of many future superstars of Indian cricket — Shreyas — as a pacesetter however a more in-depth have a look at their participant pool offers you an impression that this staff maybe lacks a little bit of depth in high quality.

Therefore, this season the two-time former champions and the runners-up of final 12 months should be over-reliant on a number of key performers and sadly for them most of these impression gamers are previous their prime.


The most important power for KKR heading into IPL 2022 is in fact their skipper and his latest type. To begin with, in contrast to their earlier captains like Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan; Shreyas is taken into account to be a long-term possibility as a pacesetter of this staff. And his earlier monitor document as a proactive captain of the Delhi franchise could have impressed Brendon McCullum, the Knight’s head-coach. Maybe, these are the explanation why KKR administration needed him so badly within the public sale and spent Rs 12.25 crore for him.

Shreyas’ latest type towards West Indies and Sri Lanka offers the Knights an enormous sigh of aid. Batting at No. 3 he can maintain the innings collectively. Although in a latest presser, the Mumbai boy spoke about being versatile along with his batting place in addition to method.

One other optimistic issue of this staff must be Venkatesh Iyer. Following a productive season final 12 months, the all-rounder has elevated himself to the worldwide degree and made an honest impression there. In KKR, the teenager will play a extra proactive position this season, each with bat and ball. Ideally, he ought to proceed to open the innings in IPL as on this staff, that’s the greatest obtainable batting place for him.

In the meantime, the expertise of Aaron Finch, who’s the late alternative of Alex Hales, and Ajinkya Rahane could come useful for the staff and particularly for Shreyas. Each can carry out some kind of a mentorship position and assist the brand new skipper get one of the best out of his gamers.


Speaking about weaknesses, the primary facet which KKR want fear about is their lack of depth in tempo bowling assault. Barring Pat Cummins, they do not have a lot high quality in there. On prime of that, the Aussie pacer will not be obtainable within the preliminary few matches. In his absence, Umesh Yadav will spearhead the assault and the senior Indian pacer shouldn’t be identified for his exploits in T20 cricket. On the Mumbai pitches, particularly at Wankhede, you want high quality tempo bowlers and for KKR the likes of Shivam Mavi, Rasikh Dar alongside Umesh would be the greatest obtainable possibility till Cummins finishes his worldwide responsibility.

Moreover in bowling, this staff relies upon closely on the Narine-Chakravarthy duo’s eight overs of spin to tame the opponent. This season in addition they have Anukul Roy within the scheme of issues. Nevertheless, at Wankhede and CCI the pitches in addition to the dimension of the grounds will not be conducive to sluggish bowlers. So, the administration should come out of their consolation zone to organize a distinct bowling plan.

On the batting entrance, the think-tank has nonetheless not selected Venkatesh’s opening associate. With Hales now not obtainable, ideally they want to put a power-hitter upfront who can benefit from the powerplay. However the obtainable choices like Rahane or Finch may not be appropriate for the job. Sam Billings can open however in that case there will probably be an excessive amount of strain on Shreyas within the middle-order. Therefore, maybe the one doable choice to do the job is Nitish Rana, who had opened for KKR up to now. However with two left-handed makeshift openers on the prime, there generally is a little bit of vulnerability.

Lastly, their fortunes on this IPL will but once more closely rely on the shape and health of the best impression participant — Russell. His explosive batting and two overs within the depth are necessary components of KKR’s gameplan. However in case he suffers an harm throughout the match, which the Jamaican usually does, the think-tank would not appear to have a top quality backup possibility because the doable alternative may be Chamika Karunaratne or Mohammad Nabi.

Season prediction

Wanting on the present circumstances, KKR will not begin the season as one of many favourites to make it to the playoffs. However it’s going to be a protracted match and this staff actually is aware of how one can flip issues round, very similar to what they did on the UAE-leg of the IPL final 12 months.


Kolkata Knight Riders Squad for IPL 2022

Abroad: Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Sam Billings (WK), Aaron Finch, Tim Southee, Chamika Karunaratne, Mohammad Nabi

Locals: Shreyas Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Shivam Mavi, Sheldon Jackson (WK), Ajinkya Rahane, Rinku Singh, Anukul Roy, Rasikh Dar, Baba Indrajith, Abhijeet Tomar, Pratham Singh, Ashok Sharma, Ramesh Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Aman Khan

Head-coach: Brendon McCullum

First-choice XI

Nitish Rana, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer (C), Sam Billings (Abroad/ WK), Andre Russell (Abroad), Sunil Narine (Abroad), Pat Cummins (Abroad), Anukul Roy, Shivam Mavi, Umesh Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy

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