After being the hugely criticized in first two seasons of the IPL, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) came back with retaliation and wrath. A Team full of the Bollywood quotient provided excellent drama in Cricket with performances and controversies. The East Indian team has won the IPL Trophy two times so far.
The team under the able captaincy of Gautam Gambhir did well last year. The opening combo of Narine and Lynn set a new standard in the IPL and they smashed the bowlers to the pieces. Uthappa’s consistency was important for the team too.
The two-time champion KKR is the most messed up team after the auction of IPL 2018. Not retaining Gambhir can prove a very costly move for them. They have allowed an established skipper to let go. Despite having match winners like Mitchell Starc and Chris Lynn, no one seems to be very intriguing in their team. The huge reason behind the same is that they are missing their star players like Manish Pandey, Nathan Coulter Nile, Umesh Yadav and Yusuf Pathan.
These players were the pillars of the KKR team in their winning campaigns as well as in the numerous victories over the years. The formidable bowling attack comprising of Umesh, Coulter Nile, Chris Woakes helped them immensely last year as in one of the matches, they bundled out eth strong looking Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) team comprising of players like Indian skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, at a meager score of 47.
There is no doubt about the fact that the services of Gambhir, the players like Pandey and Pathan will also be missed as many times they held the middle-order of KKR strong and rescued them over the line in numerous IPL game. Manish Pandey is currently in his prime form and decision of not retaining him seems to be proving costly for KKR team management in eth upcoming season.
Another matter of concern for Kolkata team is the unavailability of the stars. The Big three on whom KKR depends heavily, Narine-Russell-Lynn all have problems that may keep them out of IPL. Injury in case of Russell and Lynn and Suspect action of Narine will be the worries that will plague KKR.
Now, the questions arise is whether the KKR team management has been successful in finding apt replacements of these missing cogs from the team and the answer to that will be, yes up to some extent they have found the replacements. Let’s have a look at it:
Gautam Gambhir – Dinesh Karthik
Manish Pandey – Apoorv Wankhade
Nathan Coulter Nile – Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Umesh Yadav – Shivam Mavi
Yusuf Pathan – Not Found!!
Kolkata Knight Riders’ IPL 2018 squad:
Dinesh Karthik (c), Robin Uthappa (vc), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Starc, Kuldeep Singh Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, Ranganath Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searles, Apoorv Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi