Losing their marquee signing, Pat Cummins is a blow to the Kolkata Knight Riders. Apart from his bowling on the latest UAE pitches, KKR also loses his lower order batting. Tim Southee, in his place, described swing bowling nicely. (RCB Playing XI)
Andre Russell is another all-rounder on the team and in many cases, KKR victory is directly proportional to Jamaican firing hitting.
KKR has both quality and confusion. One day Nitish Rana along with their opener, Subman Gill … the next day Rahul Tripathi will be at the top and at some point Sunil Narine will pinch the innings. Using Narine as the opener in Abu Dhabi, where the pitch is usually spicy in the first few overs, can be a problem.
For Gill, it was an atonement tournament. The young opener was caught in the bud with a leg injury on the England tour. It’s a different format, but Gill wants to hit his starps.
Despite his obvious talent, Gill’s influence in the IPL has been minimal.
Since Narine was placed under the action scanner, the spinner has lost his secret. He still remains a very consistent bowler without a match-winning edge. The mantle was sent to Varun Chakraborty, the second stage dress rehearsal of the IPL at next month’s T20 World Cup.
Eoin Morgan is a good leader, but can he develop his team in a team effort? To begin with, Skipper is expected to release Locky Ferguson’s pace under seam-friendly conditions.
Probably XI: Subman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eon Morgan, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Lucky Ferguson, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakraborty, Prasid Krishna