Kolkata Knight Riders are the team that look the strongest this season as in the past they have included most of the International heavy weights. The franchise had a very good time at the auctions too, winning most of the intended bids. They also made the highest purchase in the auction of a whopping 15.50 crs informing the Australian Pacer Pat cummins.
The franchise with the addition of a few new players looks a very well balanced team on paper especially with the likes of Andre Rusell, Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine and Eoin Morgan.The franchise is one of the most successful teams in the IPL with 2 title wins to their name. Thus, it is quite evident the team knows how to go on with things and would just try to replicate it this time around.
With the Indian Premier League just around the corner. Cricwizz takes a look at the 5 KKR players to watch out for in this season of IPL.
1) Eoin Morgan
The current England limited overs captain joins the Riders in what could be a really huge asset for the franchise. Though he would not be captaining the side, his enormous experience as captain of an international team and a world cup win could prove vital for the team and Dinesh Karthik. The 33-year old was bagged by the franchise in the auctions for a whopping 5.50 cr.
He was previously part of the KKR team from 2011-2015 and later being released. Will his return to the team prove to be the turning point?
The Left-Hander has played 52 matches in the IPL in which he has managed to score 854 runs at an modest average of 21.35 and strike-rate of 121. He has 4 half-centuries and a high score of 66 to his name.
2) Pat Cummins
Being bought at the auctions for a whopping 15.50 crs he now holds the record for the most expensive foreign player ever in the tournament. It is no doubt that the price tag on the Australian would mean he would be someone the whole cricketing world will be watching. No pressure on him right?
The 27-year old Speedster has been climbing up the rankings with every game he plays due to his exceptional bowling and KKR will be hoping his return to the team after 5 years would prove to be fruitful. Cumimins had his best season in the IPL when he was playing with the Delhi Capitals in 2017, picking up 17 wickets in the 16 matches he played.
The RIght- Hander is relatively inexperienced in the IPL as his stats would suggest as compared to his International experiences. It has mostly to do with his injuries and international duties. He has played 16 matches in the IPL and claimed 17 wickets at a strike-rate of 21 and economy of 8.
3) Andre Russell
Destruction..Destruction and more Destruction. Yes, That is exactly what the West Indian Giant does. He is the biggest entertainer the IPL lovers could ask for and he never fails to back it up. He was also the highest run-scorer for KKR in the last season with 510 runs and to add to that he can bowl some amazing balls too.
There is no need to mention the fielding brilliance of the West Indian as he makes it to the Catch of the season almost every season he plays. Being such a complete package, he is someone to watch out with your eyes clued on.
The RIght-handed all-rounder has played 64 matches in the IPL and 1400 runs at an average of 33.33 and a marvelous strike-rate of 186. His strike-rate is the highest in the league. Russell has 8 half-centuries to his name with a high score of 88. With the ball he has 55 wickets to his name at a strike-rate of 19 and economy of 8.50.
4) Tom Banton
KKR hit the jackpot with Tom Banton as he was bought for his base price of 1cr. An amazing bargain, right? The English Hard-hitter was a sensation in the country for his hard hitting and the franchise would be excited to have him make his IPL debut for them this season. He is likely seen as the replacement of Chris Lynn. The 21-year old was last playing in the Qatari T10 league where he scored a 80 of 45 balls for the Qalandars. He could be playing all the matches for the team. Could he prove to the X-factor?
The Wicket-Keeper batsman has played 3 T20I for England and scored 56 runs at a strike-rate of 164.71.
5) Nitish Rana
The Delhi Batsman was bought by the franchise for 3.5 crs for the 2019 editions and one should say he did some justice to the price tag by scoring 300 runs for the team. KKR now would be wanting him to be the anchor of the line-up along with Dinesh Karthik, while the other batsman can swing their arms. The Left- Hander is quite experienced in the league with 46 matches to his name. He would be thriving to showcase his talents as stated in his recent interview- He is eyeing this IPL as a platform to reach the highest profile.
Rana has played 46 matches in the IPL scoring 1085 runs at a modest average of 29 and strike-rate of 135. He has 8 half-centuries with a high-score of 85 to his name.
Cover Credits: IPLT20