Contrary to the popular speculations, Kolkata Knight Riders had a decent outing under new skipper Dinesh Karthik in the IPL 2018. Despite releasing their inspirational skipper Gautam Gambhir and releasing most of the former players, they did extremely well. Their season ended with a loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second qualifier.
The Knight Riders will now be looking to do even better in the upcoming season. Ahead of the recently-concluded auction, they had released the likes of Mitchell Johson, Javon Searles and Cameron Delport who had a nominal role to play for the franchise in the last season. They also decided to do away with the Indian pacer Vinay Kumar who too failed to perform for the franchise last season. Mitchell Starc, who did not play a single game last season, also faced a similar fate.
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Well, the Knight Riders did a pretty balanced business in the recently-concluded auction. West Indies T20 skipper Carlos Brathwaite headlined the signings. The two-time IPL winners spent a whopping amount of INR 5 crore to sign the allrounder. The other notable signings were Lockie Ferguson and English bowler Harry Gurney.
A total of eight players were bought by the Knight Riders.
Well, with the squad now set, the Knight Riders will be looking to deliver another title in the upcoming season. With so many options at their disposal, the Knight Riders will have a tough time finalising the playing eleven. So through this piece, we take a look at the 11 players who can feature consistently for the team in the upcoming season.
Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine are more than likely to open the innings. The two could be followed by Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik at number three and four respectively. Nitish Rana is likely to bat at number five while hard-hitting allrounder Andre Russell looks the best option for the number six slot. Shubman Gill can bat at number seven before the tail-enders come.
Knight Riders have traditionally relied on spinners and with Narine’s batting exploits well known, they have the luxury of playing with an extra allrounder. In such a case, Brathwaite looks likely to find a place in the team. Kuldeep Yadav along with Narine are likely to spearhead the spin attack while Prasidh Krishna and newcomer Gurney can take care of the pace-bowling department.
So here is Kolkata Knight Riders’ likely eleven for the upcoming season:
Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Carlos Brathwaite, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Harry Gurney.