IPL 2018: Match 3, KKR vs RCB: Kolkata Knight Riders Predicted XI

IPL 2018: Match 3, KKR vs RCB: Kolkata Knight Riders Predicted XI

Royal Challengers Bangalore are strong on paper, but the Knights are no pushover.

Sunil Narine of Kolkata
Sunil Narine of Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) had a horrendous run in the previous edition of the Indian Premier League and finished as the cellar dweller. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were well and good until their stutter against the Mumbai Indians in the playoffs. The two teams would now be facing each other at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

RCB has the stronger lineup on paper than that of the Knights, however, KKR also has some genuine match-winners in their ranks who can decimate oppositions. Mitchell Starc’s injury has definitely weakened them, but despite that, the team is a brute force to reckon with. In our article, let’s take you through the probable lineup of the Knights.

Openers (Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine)  

Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine tasted a fair amount of success in the erstwhile edition of the tournament. Meanwhile, the duo also took the Knights off to fliers on several occasions. Hence, it won’t spring a surprise if the franchise opts for the duo to commence proceedings with the willow. Lynn has been battling with injuries, however, has been declared fit to play.

On the other hand, Sunil Narine, who was retained in the retention ceremony, has emerged as an explosive batsman at the top of the order. He was sent to open by the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League after which KKR followed suit. The strategy can again work wonders from the opening game itself, provided Kolkata Knight Riders opts to employ the same.

Middle order (Nitish Rana, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik (capt & wk), Shubman Gill)

The middle order has a blend of youth and experience. The onus will be on Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik to guide the team. Dinesh Karthik has recently shown excellent form in the triangular series against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Moreover, the spotlight will also be on the Tamil Nadu cricketer to deliver the goods for his new franchise.

Robin Uthappa has been a fulcrum of the team for the last few seasons and the franchise would again be pinning hopes on the Karnataka-cricketer to churn out some useful shows in this season. Nitish Rana would also be wishing to replicate his form from the previous season. Shubman Gill, a member of the World Cup-winning Indian Under-19 team also might be drafted into the playing eleven.

All-rounder (Andre Russell)

The last one year for Andre Russell has been a frustrating one. He was banned for a year, however, he was included in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Nevertheless, a hamstring injury ruled him out. Nonetheless, he has recovered in time and is likely to feature in the opening game.

Russell has been an integral element of the Knights for the last few seasons and has played several match-winning knocks. He didn’t play the last season, however, has to bring forth his A game in order for the Knights to get themselves on the driver’s seat.

Bowlers (Mitchell Johnson, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Kamlesh Nagarkoti)

Mitchell Johnson and Andre Russell are overseas bowlers along with Sunil Narine, the Caribbean off-spinner. The trio will have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders bearing in mind the explosive batting line-up of RCB. Meanwhile, Narine has earlier been reported for a suspect bowling action and has to be careful in order to evade the mishap in the league.

Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav are the wrist spinners, who will be expected to keep Virat Kohli’s batsmen in check with their guile and trajectory. Kamlesh Nagarkoti recently came to the limelight courtesy of his raw pace in the Under-19 World Cup, which caught many by surprise and he can be a useful prospect for the Knights as well.

Here’s our KKR Predicted XI against RCB

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