The TATA IPL 2023 season will be underway in just a few weeks. The Kolkata Knight Riders are one team that was at its peak initially but whose performance has gone down a downward spiral in recent times. They have roped in Chandrakant Pandit as their head coach to replace Bazz McCullum. It will be great to see how this works. Also, the KKR management was the one to let go of the fewest players and make the most trades in the transfer market. The auction cost them only 8 crores of Indian rupees. Here is a quick preview of this squad:
Strengths of the Kolkata Knight Riders:
The Indian batters are their strength. They have some of the top names in the business. Iyer, Rana, Venky, and Mandeep Singh too. These are all floaters and can bat anywhere in the batting order. Their next strengths are their spin bowling and their finisher. There is a better finisher in the world at the moment than Dre Russ. When he is on the song, he derails the opposition very easily. Their spin bowling department has the mysteries of Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, and Shakib Al Hasan with this experience.
Weakness of the Kolkata Knight Riders:
There is an evident weakness that they do not have an established foreign batter. The other teams have the likes of David Miller, Jos Butler, Moeen Ali, etc but the KKR management lacks it. They will have to rely on David Wiese and Rahmatullah Gurbaz to fire which is a very big flaw. These names aren’t established at this grand stage. The Indian pace battery is a point of concern too.
Opportunities for the Kolkata Knight Riders in TATA IPL 2023:
There are many opportunities in a team that relies on lesser-known names. The biggest opportunity is for Nitish Rana and Mandeep Singh to come back to the reckoning. The Indian cricket team is always looking for middle-order batters. A good season here or there can get them national call-ups. Another opportunity is for Shardul Thakur to be the spearhead of the pace bowling attack and make an impact in a team with not many superstars.
Threats for the Kolkata Knight Riders in TATA IPL 2023:
The major threat is the availability of Dre Russ during TATA IPL 2023 as he is a fragile commodity and is subject to injury. Due to his range-hitting abilities, he often gets his wrist injured. The other void is the death bowling. The possible death bowlers are Thakur, Russell, Lockie Ferguson, and Umesh Yadav. All of the above-mentioned names are not having a good time in the death overs. Lockie Ferguson leaked 50+ runs in the 3rd T20I against India.
Squad of the Kolkata Knight Riders:
Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Venkatesh Iyer, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Lockie Ferguson, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakravarthy, Anukul Roy, Rinku Singh, N. Jagadeesan, Vaibhav Arora, Suyash Sharma, David Wiese, Kulwant Khejroliya, Litton Das, Mandeep Singh, Shakib Al Hasan.
Expected Playing XI:
Venkatesh Iyer, Litton Das, Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell, Rinku Singh, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Vaibhav Arora, Varun Chakravarthy.
Schedule of the Kolkata Knight Riders in TATA IPL 2023:
The schedule of the TATA IPL 2023 season is yet to be announced and hence the schedule of the KKR team is also to be announced.
Predictions for the Kolkata Knight Riders in TATA IPL 2023:
The KKR Team is expected to have a bad season. The season can be as bad as them finishing last or second last. They do not have the best teams and are relying on the promise of a few players. They could have improved their squad in the TATA IPL 2023 auction if they had a decent strategy in place. Shreyas Iyer is expected to be their highest run scorer. And Sunil Narine will be the highest wicket-taker.
Nitish Rana has had a good domestic season. He has not been picked by the BCCI selection panel but a good TATA IPL 2023 season can do wonders for him. He has always shown promise and has scored at regular intervals. But this could be the season of Nitish Rana. The other X-Factor has to be Dre Russ. One cannot easily forget his exploits against RCB in the TATA IPL 2019 season. He was hitting sixes for fun!
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To know more go to the official website of KKR.