KKR Playing 11: With the last championship victory coming in 2014, there’s a feeling that Kolkata Knight Riders are due a genuine shot at another title. The team has been coming agonizingly short of making the playoffs in recent seasons, finishing 5th in each of the last two IPL campaigns. However, on paper, KKR is as good a team as there can be, or are, in the IPL. The roster is loaded with international superstars and a good mix of Indian players led by Dinesh Karthik and Shubman Gill, make this team incredibly hot. The excitement level is over the roof for KKR fans and they can’t wait for the season to start.
No doubt, Kolkata Knight Riders head into the IPL 2021 with an enviable roster. The one area where KKR may overpower all other teams, even the Mumbai Indians, is the all-rounder section.
Andre Russell is a fan-favourite. The pugnacious Jamaican needs no second invitation whether he is bowling or throwing his bat around on the crease. Then there’s is mercurial Sunil Narine. The mystery bowler, while in Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh’s premium player who has carried the world’s best all-rounder tag over his shoulders at times, offers more potency with both bat and ball.
That said, with Eoin Morgan leading the team and a guaranteed starter, and either Lockie Ferguson or Pat Cummins set to feature in KKR playing 11, one of Shakib and Narine may have to contend with a place on the bench.
India’s young sensation Shubman Gill will open the batting for KKR with Rahul Tripathi likely to be his partner, while Nitish Rana should bat at no-3. Rana has racked up more than 300 runs in each of the last four IPL seasons.
Dinesh Karthik, who passed on the captaincy to Eoin Morgan in the middle of IPL 2020, is the first-choice wicket-keeper in the team. Morgan, on the other hand, will bat in the middle-order.
Now Indian international Prasidh Krishna will be one of the main bowlers for KKR, with Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Harbhajan Singh likely to be other Indian bowlers in KKR playing 11.
Both Lockie Ferguson and Pat Cummins are likely to battle it out for one spot and we think the Australian speedster may be preferred in the initial stage of IPL 2021.
Dinesh Karthik (WK)
Shakib Al Hasan
KKR Playing 11 | KKR Starting XI | KKR Strongest Playing 11
(If KKR Play Russell, Narine and Shakib)
Eoin Morgan (C)
Shakib al Hasan
Shivam Mavi / Harbhajan Singh
Kolkata Knight Riders Squad
KKR Schedule | IPL 2021 Schedule
KKR is handed a tough start to the new IPL season. The two-time winners will open their IPL 2021 campaign with the tough game against 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad, before facing defending champions Mumbai Indians in the second game. Games against RCB, CSK and RR will wrap up KKR’s first five assignments for the IPL 2021.