Two-times IPL Champion Kolkata Knight Riders will step out at Eden Gardens on 8th April to face Royal Challengers Bangalore. After retaining two T20 Superstars (Sunil Narine and Andre Russell) they could not gain a significant advantage in the revamping auction of IPL 2018. The team balance looks a little shaky at the moment, here is how their probable XI shapes up.
KKR Full Squad for IPL 2018:
Dinesh Karthik (C), Robin Uthappa (RTM), Sunil Narine (Retained), Andre Russell (Retained), Chris Lynn, Mitchell Starc, Kuldeep Yadav (RTM), Piyush Chawla (RTM), Nitish Rana, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, Ranganath Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searles, Apoorv Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi
With no Gautam Gambhir to lead the team, the major responsibility of scoring runs will now be on Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik. Their bowling line-up looks stronger with two spinning pillars being Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav. Vinay Kumar will be the lead Indian fast bowler.
The Most pleasing aspect of KKR this year is definitely the large presence of youngsters. They have Shubhman Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi who starred in India’s Under-19 World Cup winning campaign. They also possess Nitish Rana who grabbed the eye-ball last season playing for Mumbai Indians.
In Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Chris Lynn they have three of the greatest entertainers in the T20 circuit. They will be missing out on Mitchell Starc due to an injury but they still have Mitchell Johnson. Cameron Delport and CPL-import Javon Searles will be the surprise packages.
This concern is greatest for KKR as compared to any other IPL team. Andre Russell and Chris Lynn both are suffering from injuries. Narine has been reported for suspect action. Mitchell Starc is already out of the whole season and Mitchell Johnson is also injury-prone with a fragile back. The Indian players are fit and fine but the foreign quota may just trouble the Kolkatan team.
Chris Lynn (If fit) / Cameron Delport $
Dinesh Karthik (C-WK)
Andre Russell $
Sunil Narine $
Mitchell Johnson $/ Tom Curran $
Shivam Mavi/Kamlesh Nagarkoti
$ – Foreign Players
If KKR decides to add an extra Indian seamer, they have the option to play Vinay Kumar in place of one of the two spinners. They do not have the backup for Andre Russell so if misses out they are likely to add Ishank Jaggi if needed.