Sunil Gavaskar, legendary former opener and commentator suggested a new opening pair for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL 2021 while stating that Shubman Gill is struggling and Nitish Rana is better suited at No.3.
Seeing the Kolkata Knight Riders opening combination of Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill failing to provide KKR a good enough start in IPL 2021, legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar suggested a new opening pair for the Eoin Morgan-led side going ahead in the Indian Premier League. Sunil Gavaskar said there is a case for Rahul Tripathi to open with Sunil Narine.
Sunil Gavaskar: There’s A Case For Rahul Tripathi To Open With Sunil Narine
Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill have opened for KKR in the 6 matches that they have played this season but have failed to put together a significant partnership at the top. While Nitish Rana has been amongst the runs (186 runs in 6 games) especially at the start of the tournament, Shubman Gill has been struggling big time(89 runs in 6 games).
The talented right-hander has the highest score of 33 and has not been able to hit the boundaries as per his liking in the powerplay which has hurt KKR a great deal. Rahul Tripathi, on the other hand, has been the most consistent KKR batsman this season.
“Nitish Rana, in the years that he has been very successful for KKR, he has been batting at No.3. So, if Rahul Tripathi can open the batting, which he used to do earlier on for the other franchises, maybe that’s the way to go for him,” Gavaskar told Star Sports after KKR returned to winning ways after four straight losses by beating PBKS by 5 wickets in Ahmedabad.
Sunil Gavaskar said Sunil Narine, who has been floating in the middle order can be asked to open with Rahul Tripathi who has managed to score 168 runs in 6 games.
“I think KKR have to make up their minds whether Sunil Narine opens the batting with Shubman Gill or Rahul Tripathi opens the batting. With Shubman Gill also – struggling and not quite there; maybe there is a case for Tripathi to open with Sunil Narine,” added Sunil Gavaskar.
Sunil Gavaskar said Nitish Rana has found success for KKR over the years while batting at No.3 and Rahul Tripathi made a name for himself in the IPL as an opener so KKR could think of swapping their positions.
Sunil Gavaskar: Eoin Morgan Will Be Pleased With KKR Win And His Own Contribution
What augurs well for KKR is the return to the form of captain Eoin Morgan. The left-hander scored an unbeaten 47 off 40 balls to help KKR reach the 124-run target against Punjab Kings inside 17 overs. Sunil Gavaskar said Eoin Morgan will be pleased with the win and also rejoiced at the fact that he was back amongst runs.
“He was playing his shot well. He was being aggressive, which is his normal game. When you contribute towards teams win and steady the ship – because at one stage they were 3 wickets down and they needed that partnership between him and Rahul Tripathi – that steadied the ship and eventually to take your team home.
“That gives you a lot of confidence for the matches to come. I think, Morgan will be very pleased with the win and the way he contributed to that win,” said Sunil Gavaskar.
Kolkata Knight Riders were reduced to 17/3 with Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, and Sunil Narine back in the pavilion. Rahul Tripathi survived a run-out chance as his 66 run partnership with Eoin Morgan saw KKR winning despite losing Rahul Tripathi and Andre Russell in quick succession. Earlier, Prasidh Krishna took 3 wickets while Pat Cummins and Sunil Narine picked 2 scalps each.
Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 126/5 (Eoin Morgan 47*, Rahul Tripathi 41; Moises Henriques 1/5) beat Punjab Kings 123/9 (Mayank Agarwal 31, Chris Jordan 30; Prasidh Krishna 3/30) by 5 wickets.