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“They will have to play Mitchell Starc, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine” – Irfan Pathan on KKR
By SMCS - Feb 13, 2024 10:00 am
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Former India pacer Irfan Pathan said that Mitchell Starc, Andre Russell, and Sunil Narine will take three of the four overseas spots in the Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) preferred playing XI in IPL 2024 as well. The KKR franchise finished seventh in IPL 2023. However, they bought Starc (₹24.75 crores), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (₹2 crores), Sherfane Rutherford (₹1.5 crores), and Gus Atkinson (₹1 crores) at the auction to finish their four retained overseas players — Russell, Narine, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, and Jason Roy as well.

Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc

During a discussion on Star Sports, Pathan said: “They will have to play Mitchell Starc, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine. These three are confirmed. If those (turning) pitches are there, Narine has to play. Gautam (Gambhir) actually likes it that way. He likes playing on the slow pitches and that is where he became champion a couple of times. Then they will have to leave out either Jason Roy or Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Only one of them can play. If they want to go with a wicketkeeper, then Jason Roy has to sit out. Then Gurbaz will play.”

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Meanwhile, Gurbaz played 11 games for KKR in IPL 2023 as well, scoring 227 runs at an average of 20.64 and a strike rate of 133.52. Irfan Pathan also added that the Kolkata Knight Riders can alternatively open with either Manish Pandey or Venkatesh Iyer alongside Jason Roy as well.

andre russell

“If not, what they can do is, start with Jason Roy and have Manish Pandey open the innings. Manish Pandey can actually play that role. With his experience, he can play anywhere, or else Venkatesh Iyer can bat up the order. Maybe Srikar Bharat can actually bat at No. 3 or something. In that way, wicketkeeping will be sorted, or he can just play as a pure impact sub as a wicketkeeper. I really think Jason Roy is a better bet, with the kind of form he showed last year, than Rahmanullah Gurbaz,” Irfan Pathan concluded.