The team from Kolkata will look to repeat their heroics from the 2012 IPL season. Dinesh Karthik is optimistic about the chances of making an impact this season.
Of all the IPL teams with their glorious past in the tournament, I believe the team that actually has relied on Individual performances more than team effort undoubtedly has to be the Kolkata Knight Riders. Right from the onset of the IPL infact the very first match KKR announced themselves as the most glamorous team in the IPL, With Brendon Mccullum hitting a ton on the very first day of IPL 2008, The inaugural year, This collection of match-winners have not necessarily always resulted in trophies, But they have never ceased to entertain.
The current crop of young players are also a treat for sore eyes, Shubhman Gill and Nitish Rana take charge of the top order, Nikhil Naik and Rahul Tripathi lend stability with the Pace battery of Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkotti. Even when you look across the International players, Chris Green and Lockie Ferguson prove to be more of an Asset than Liability.
The strength of this side lies in the fine balance lended to it by a good mix of their Foreign and Domestic players, The skipper Dinesh Karthik can wear multiple caps of Wicket-keeper, Batsman, Captain if ever there was a Mr.Do it all, Talking about utility, Is there a more useful cricketer in world cricket than Sunil Narine? The Southpaw can open the Innings play a breezy knock and then bowl inside the powerplay to defend his score as well. What will actually be interesting to see will be how does Eoin Morgan come into this well settled squad and contribute positively, The ex-Irish International is not short of confidence after winning the 2019 ODI World Cup now it’s just about executing his experience in Dubai.
If Cricket was played on paper, there would’nt be a doubt as to who is the x-factor, Pat Cummins bought in for 2 Mn $ in the auction this year, with wind in his sails before the Pandemic the Aussie is expected to have an instant impact, Similarly there is a unknown force lurking in Kolkata, The kind we have seen quite often in the IPL, A mystery spinner, Varun Chakravarty will hope this to be his breakthrough year and will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of his fellow mystery spinner Sunil Narine.
The Trump card will still be Andre Russell, The Jamaican single handedly won KKR a couple of matches last season, KKR and SRH being his victims on those two ocassions, KKR faithful will still pray that Andre Russell stays fit and has a season like the last one.
Predicted XI: Shubhman Gill, Sunil Narine, Dinesh Kartik,Eoin Morgan, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Nikhil Naik, Kamlesh Nagarkotti, Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi.