IPL 2017: Kolkata Knight Riders’ Best Possible XI
Updated - Mar 14, 2017 12:08 am
Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav
Kolkata Knight Riders have to be a little careful if continuing with Manish Pandey at no. 3. He has not been in his best of forms lately. In the previous edition too, he scored 248 runs 11 innings at an average of 31.00 which according to his calibre is not impressive. The runs have come, but not as easily as you’d expect. In his last 10 innings for India and Karnataka, his highest score was 77 against Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Other than that, he has been struggling to go past 30-35 runs. A player like him cannot be dropped and must feature in the Playing XI despite the slight troubles he is facing at the moment. He is best suited at No. 3 and pushing him down the order will not help.
Yusuf Pathan is the backbone of KKR’s middle-order. His ‘once in a blue moon’ kind of innings assures you with a sure shot victory. He is their third highest top scorer with 361 runs at a staggering average of 72.20 and a strike rate touching 145.56. He has featured in many match-winning crucial cameos that have only strengthened his case as a T20 specialist. After a forgettable start at the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he has come back stronger and piled many runs, including a match-winning 71 against Assam. He is the best fit at the No.4 spot and can be the opponent’s nightmare if he gets started. He will have a stronger role to play as a pinch hitter this year due to the absence of Russell’s prowess.
The vice captain, Suryakumar Yadav must step up to showcase his calibre this year. He is best suited for the shorter format of the game but last year, he managed only 186 runs for himself. He remains their first preference at No. 5 but he will have to make way for someone else if he continues his bad run like he did in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. In his last six innings, he was dismissed at a single digit 4 times including 3 ducks. Despite his poor form, Yadav remains a crucial player for the KKR middle order line up as their batting line up digs deep. In case of failure to perform in initial matches, the KKR might decide to give a chance to someone like Sheldon Jackson. Or, perhaps, Chris Lynn if they can trade him instead of another overseas player in the XI.