IPL 10, Match 23, KKR v GL: Kolkata Knight Riders Predicted XI

With things going according to plan, the Kolkata Knight Riders will take the field brimming with confidence.

Kolkata Knight Riders
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Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo Source: BCCI)

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Given the way they have performed in the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League, one can’t pick out too many drawbacks in the Kolkata Knight Riders side. In so far as this season of the IPL goes, KKR has clearly looked the most professional side with the tournament nearing the halfway mark. With 4 wins in the bag and a healthy net run rate, the Knight Riders look well settled at the top of the table.

Having played 5 games and lost just 1, the Kolkata Knight Riders have all it takes to comfortably make it to the qualifiers. They’ll require another 4 victories from their next 9 matches, out of which 5 will be home games. Under the current circumstances and the way the Knight Riders are playing, the team should centre into the playoffs.

Led by Gautam Gambhir, the Knight Riders are the one team who have played as a unit. Each time someone has stepped up to the occasions to play a match-turning innings for KKR. Be it Nathan Coulter-Nile with the ball, or Manish Pandey with the bat, the Kolkata Knight Riders have never fallen short of match-winners.

With a rusty Gujarat side who will have to walk into the KKR fortress at the Eden Gardens, the Knight Riders will look to maul the Lions and register another emphatic victory.

With things going according to plan, the Kolkata Knight Riders will take the field brimming with confidence. A victory against a weary Gujarat side will make life considerably easier for the Knight Riders as they will fancy their chances of making it to the top two at the end of the group stages.

Here’s a look at CricTracker’s predicted XI for the Kolkata Knight Riders as they take on the Gujarat Lions on Friday:

Openers (Gautam Gambhir, Colin de Grandhomme)

In spite of an injured Chris Lynn waiting on the sidelines, KKR hasn’t had too many problems with their opening pair. Gautam Gambhir scoring consistently is a great sign for the left-hander. His steady start allows batsmen lower down the order to play their shots. Gambhir has been Captain Consistent. He has led from the front at the opening slot and has laid a solid foundation at the start.

KKR have persisted with their experiments with the second opener, and the latest batsman to open the innings is Colin de Grandhomme. For those who understand French, he is as his name suggests – a big man. The New Zealand all-rounder boasts of a massive T20 strike rate of 171. Although he hasn’t been able to kickstart his IPL career in great style, it’s only a matter of time before the big man launches the ball into the stands. De Grandhomme will look to take on an inexperienced Gujarat Lions bowling attack. If he gets going, KKR is likely to end up with a total in excess of 200.

Top order (Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey)

In Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey, the Kolkata Knight Riders have two of the most dependable top order batsmen in the IPL. For Manish Pandey, that tag can extend into his international career as well.

The Knight Riders decided to break apart the consistent opening pair of Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir. Nevertheless, Uthappa finds himself at the no.3 slot, and has looked to carry his brilliant form from last year. Although he missed out on the last game against the Delhi Daredevils, Uthappa has looked in fine touch. His 68 against the Sunrisers powered the Kolkata Knight Riders to 172. Uthappa is a sweet timer of the ball, whether it’s along the ground or lofted over the field. Robin Uthappa has also been neat behind the stumps for KKR.

Manish Pandey has developed a habit of managing crises for the Kolkata Knight Riders. When his side found itself reeling at 21-3, Pandey came in to rescue the team and pull off a tense chase. Manish Pandey stitched an all-important partnership with Yusuf Pathan, pulling off the highest successful IPL chase for a side losing three wickets in the first three overs.

With three undefeated knocks of 81, 25 and 69, Manish Pandey now averages a whopping 221 in this edition of the IPL so far. As on 19th April, the 27-year-old is 14 runs shy of having the Orange Cap back on his head.

Middle order (Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Woakes)

KKR have some powerful strikers of the ball in their middle order, and the biggest name there is, of course, Yusuf Pathan.

Yusuf Pathan has been a feared batsman in world cricket, who can stand and deliver while rooted to the crease. Yusuf didn’t start too well in this season of the IPL but came back strong with 39-ball 59 against the Delhi Daredevils. His partnership with Manish Pandey steadied the ship for KKR, as they went on to clinch a thrilling last-over victory.

Mumbai’s Ranji team captain Suryakumar Yadav can come lower down the order and smack the ball to all parts of the park. Surya is an innovative batsman who often pulls out the cheeky shots to steal boundaries at the death. He has added useful runs for the Knight Riders time and again, and will look to put in an impressive performance against the Gujarat Lions.

Chris Woakes primarily comes into the side as a fast bowler. In spite of being quite expensive, Woakes has chipped in with the odd wicket at crucial stages of the game. The England all-rounder can also use the long handle to good effect.

Bowlers (Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav)

Australia’s Nathan Coulter-Nile was impressive on his return after recovering from injury. The pacer finished with figures of 3-22 in his four overs, earning him the Man of the Match award. Coulter-Nile is a clever bowler at the death who fires in the yorker and also has subtle changes in pace. He will look to topple the dangerous Gujarat openers at the Eden Gardens.

Along with Coulter-Nile, Umesh Yadav will bring in some more pace into the KKR bowling attack. Umesh’s fiery spells in the recently concluded Test series against Australia made him a sensation amongst India’s fast bowlers. He generates some serious pace and his deliveries skid off the track. Umesh also has the ability to test batsmen with his sharp bouncers.

The Kolkata Knight Riders will have their mystery spinners hunting in pairs once again. Sunil Narine is by far the most economical bowler in IPL history. He runs through his overs quickly and gives almost nothing away. Narine has a knack of picking up wickets every time he comes into bowl. In Sunil Narine, KKR also has a fine batsman, who’s shown his skills with the bat of late.

Left-arm chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav is another bowler who’ll bring his mystery into play. As batsmen haven’t seen much of this man yet, he’s sometimes hard to pick. Along with his regular deliveries, Kuldeep cleverly mixes the googlies and the wrong ones. In tandem with Sunil Narine, this is a bowling duo which can bamboozle any batting line-up in the world.