The Kolkata Knight Riders have a strong unit filled with players who can make high impact in the T20 version. The two West Indians are their pillars of strength - Andre Russell and Sunil Narine. And they can make a difference with both bat and ball. Captain Karthik himself is a batsman with lot of chutzpah and then they have England captain Eoin Morgan. In white ball formats, Morgan is a real enforcer. They now also have new sensation from England Tom Banton too in the batting line-up along with Shubman Gill. Pat Cummins, the leading bowler in the world right now, will spearhead their attack and will be supported by the likes of Harry Gurney, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier etc.
It is a line-up that devoid of any palpable weakness, much like the Sunrisers Hyderabad. But the Knight Riders depend heavily on Russell and Narine to make a match-turning impact. They will require some bigger contribution from the likes of Karthik, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana etc. Kuldeep had a forgettable IPL 2019 and his stock too has gone down since, and KKR will be hoping for him to have recovered from a modest year. Similarly, two young pace tyros Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi have been in the grips of injuries for a while now, seriously undermining their bench strength. Hopefully, this long break might have helped them make strides in the fitness department.
Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Harry Gurney, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Siddesh Lad, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, M Siddharth, Chris Green, Tom Banton, Pravin Tamble, Nikhil Naik.
4. Stars to watch
Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav.
5. IPL Prediction
Qualifiers is the minimum achievable mark for the Knight Riders and they should be able to do it with much ado. But envisaging them as champions of the IPL 2020 is not a misplaced thought either.