IPL 2018: KKR CEO Venky Mysore Confident of the Availability of Lynn, Russell and Narine in Season Opener
Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore stated the three big guns of the franchise, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine would be available to play KKR’s season opener against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The availability of Lynn and Russell was in serious doubt after both players opted out of the Pakistan Super League with hamstring and shoulder injuries, respectively.
Venky Mysore was confident of the fact two T20 stars, Narine and Mitchell Johnson would be part of the Kolkata Knight Riders campaign.
“Lynn’s fine, Johnson’s fine – they’re all on a plane as we speak,” Mysore said at a press conference in Kolkata on Sunday. “Tomorrow, we’ll have a practice game. If the physio feels they’re fit to play the practice match after the flight, then you’ll see them in action. Lynn’s available for the first match.”
Knight Riders had to go without the services of Mitchell Starc. The left-arm speedster was bought at a whopping price of $1.47m but was ruled out of the tournament after sustaining a shin injury during the 3rd Test against South Africa at the Newlands in Cape Town where the ball-tampering saga unfolded.
This means that Johnson has risen to become the team’s frontline pacer. Despite retiring from international cricket a while back, Mysore backed Johnson to come good in the early stages of the tournament.
“With every adversity comes an opportunity and it could be one of the youngsters who shine this season,” Mysore said. “So, yes, we are disappointed, but we’re not going ‘Oh my God, what happened. Johnson’s played a lot at the IPL and won two championships [with Mumbai Indians]. He’s an outstanding bowler – you saw how he bowled at the Big Bash. He’s still fit, still bowling 145+ and is an experienced campaigner. So, at least in the initial stage, we won’t miss Starc, but we’re looking at replacements. Give us 24 hours.”
Mysore is of the opinion that not a big name team tag has helped them remain low-key before the tournament. He said that it has been beneficial to the team to stay away from the limelight. He added the players who haven’t shone so far also has the desire to do well for the side.
“Yes, we talk about [Shivam] Mavi, [Kamlesh] Nagarkoti and [Shubman] Gill, but don’t forget Apoorv Wankhade, Rinku Singh, Nitish Rana and Ishank Jaggi,” Mysore said. “Jaggi’s a highly under-rated player and had an excellent season for Jharkhand. It’s good that we’re under the radar. People are saying, ‘where are the names, where are the names?’ You don’t need names here; you need people who are hungry to do well.”
Knight Riders open their IPL 11 campaign at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata against Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore on 8th April.
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