IPL 2022: Possible XI of Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings
KKR will be led by Shreyas Iyer
KKR have the exprienced Nitish Rana, Pat Cummins, and Shivam Mavi in their ranks
KKR face CSK in the IPL 2022 opener on March 26
When the Kolkata Knight Riders retained four players, their purse reduction was Rs 42 crore, although the real cash handed to them was just Rs 33 crore. After blocking the additional Rs 9 crore, the issue was not immediately apparent, but it became apparent at the IPL 2022 Mega Auction when the team was unable to make the acquisitions they desired.
The purchase of their leader, Shreyas Iyer, was the greatest and most positive takeaway for KKR from the Auction. Furthermore, KKR may be able to secure the services of 2021 superstars such as Nitish Rana, Pat Cummins, and Shivam Mavi. Aside from these standouts, the majority of the team's members add new life to the table.
Overall, KKR did a good job assembling their team. While their starting lineup isn't horrible, the reserves are where the squad struggles the most.
So, given the team's current roster, what is the best-predicted playing 11 for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their IPL 2022 opener against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on March 26?
Kolkata Knight Riders squad
Batters and wicket-keepers: Abhijeet Tomar, Ajinkya Rahane, Alex Hales, Nitish Rana, Pratham Singh, Ramesh Kumar, Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer, Baba Indrajith (WK), Sam Billings (WK) & Sheldon Jackson (WK).
All-rounders: Aman Khan, Andre Russell, Anukul Roy, Chamika Karunaratne, Mohammad Nabi, Pat Cummins & Venkatesh Iyer.
Bowlers: Ashok Sharma, Rasikh Salam Dar, Shivam Mavi, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine & Varun Chakravarthy.
The Kolkata Knight Riders stunned everyone by not retaining Shubman Gill, their best opener in the past two years. Even if Gill isn't the most aggressive name in T20 cricket, he is the player to watch in the future. He was a reliable performer for KKR, and he could only become better. With Shubman Gill out, KKR may revert to their 2018 approach of playing an international opener at the top.
Alex Hales appears to be the best bet among the available possibilities to open with Venkatesh Iyer. The bright Englishman should consider himself fortunate to have joined KKR. The Purple squad has a few holes to fill, and his arrival should only benefit them. Alex Hales, when combined with Venkatesh, can make a strong opening combo.
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When comparing KKR's middle-orders of 2021 and 2022, the 2022 one appears to have the same, if not better, promise. Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik, and Eoin Morgan were in 2021, and Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer, and Sheldon Jackson are in 2022. The 2022 squad is one batter short, but that just adds to the pressure on Andre Russell and Sunil Narine.
The good news for KKR is that they have not only found a great captain in Shreyas Iyer, but they have also discovered a consistent hitter, which was an issue with Eoin Morgan, who was a bad batter. Shreyas Iyer can assist out at number four, allowing Alex Hales, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, and Sunil Narine to play freely.
The only thing KKR would lament is a lack of a reliable wicket-keeper. In the bottom middle order, they must play Sheldon Jackson at all costs. This improves the side's equilibrium. Sheldon, on the other hand, is not a household name in India. While there is an undeniable promise, it must be translated into performance. I'm hoping for excellent cameos from Sheldon in a star-studded roster.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have three solid all-rounders and seven bowling alternatives to pick from in this category. Shreyas Iyer as captain and seven bowling options are a winning mix. Iyer is a captain who plays to the strengths of his players, and with so many bowling options, it would help Iyer manage the resources efficiently.
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Furthermore, Venkatesh Iyer at the top and Andre Russell and Sunil Narine as finishers give depth to the batting. Venkatesh is a known top performer as well as a finisher for Team India. With Russel at 5 or 6, KKR might also consider Sunil Narine as an opener and Venkatesh Iyer as a finisher in addition to Andre Russell.
With the likes of Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Sunil Narine, and Varun Chakravarthy, KKR's bowling has nearly equalled that of 2021. The sole alteration in their bowling attack is the addition of Umesh Yadav in lieu of Prasidh Krishna. While Umesh is not a poor bowler, Prasidh is a better bowler as of 2022.
Overall, the KKR bowling attack is strong. In fact, they have four powerful bowlers and three all-rounders. So, even if Umesh has a difficult day, Shreyas Iyer may use the other bowling alternatives to finish the overs limit. Meanwhile, Pat Cummins will be the pace attack's captain. KKR's spin assault will be led by Varun Chakravarthy.
Possible XI of Kolkata Knight Riders: Alex Hales, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer (C), Sheldon Jackson (WK), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Umesh Yadav.