IPL 2019 – Match 2: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad – KKR Predicted Playing XI

IPL 2019 – Match 2: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad – KKR Predicted Playing XI

The Knights have already seen a few body blows in the form of injuries to three of its pacers.

Kolkata Knight riders
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Andre Russell celebrates fall of Evin Lewis’ wicket. (Photo by IANS)

It is time for retaliation when the Kolkata Knight Riders step onto the field for their first game in IPL 2019. The team will be looking to avenge for the defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in the second qualifier of the last season. KKR was beaten at their home ground by 14 runs. Thus, they failed to qualify for the finals of the IPL 2018.

The KKR have assembled a good team for the upcoming edition of the IPL. However, they have already been hit by a few injuries. Both Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti are ruled out of the tournament. Moreover, Anrich Nortje, who was expected to play a crucial part for them is also out. Thus, the management needs to rethink their plans heading into the tournament. Yet, their starting eleven looks pretty strong and they could give SRH a strong competition.

Here is the Predicted Playing XI for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR):

Openers (Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn)

Chris Lynn
Chris Lynn of Kolkata Knight Riders in action. (Photo by Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

Sunil Narine hasn’t really lived up to the expectations with the bat in recent times. But he is someone who can play an impactful knock and win two or three games on his own. The Knight Riders wouldn’t be affected much even if they lose him early but if he manages to provide the side with a good start, it will be a huge boost. Narine, with the ball, is brilliant as usual.

Chris Lynn will be the man at the other end who will open the innings with Narine. The Knights will have high expectation on the Australian. If he clicks, he can take the team off to a flyer. KKR will want at least one player amongst the two openers to take the team off to a lightning start.

Middle Order (Robin Uthappa, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c)(wk))

Dinesh Karthik
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Dinesh Karthik in action. (Photo by IANS)

KKR’s middle-order is a mixture of aggression and balance. Robin Uthappa and Shubman Gill might not always score runs at a great pace. But they stabilise the innings and are match-winners on their day. Uthappa has been one of the most consistent performers for his team while we have seen glimpses of Shubman Gill last year. The 19-year-old is yet to unleash his full potential and batting at number four might help him do the same.

Nitish Rana and Dinesh Karthik will be the next two batsmen to follow in the line-up. Rana is capable of finding the gaps easily and also bowls a few overs if required. Karthik, on the other hand, will have two roles to fulfill. He will either be the anchor or the finisher depending on the situation of the match. The KKR skipper will also don the gloves.

All Rounders (Andre Russell)

Andre Russell
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Andre Russell in action. (Photo by IANS)

Andre Russell seems to be fit and has been working hard in the nets. The Caribbean cricketer can be destructive on his day. But it won’t be easy against a strong SRH bowling line-up. He has got to be watchful and should target his bowlers according to the situation and depending upon his strengths. Russell can easily offer four overs and will be tough to bat against if he finds his rhythm.

Bowlers (Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson)

Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav of Kolkata Knight Riders celebrates. (Photo by Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

The track in Kolkata has some assistance on offer for the spinner. Thus, both Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav will play. These two have been a great strength to the side for quite a few years now. Chawla was also given the role of bowling in the powerplay last year. He fared well and might continue to do the same this year as well. Kuldeep will be important to restrict the runs in the middle overs.

The pace bowling department seems to be a slightly weak zone in the KKR line-up. Prasidh Krishna played 7 games last season and picked up 10 wickets. But he leaked runs at an economy rate of 9.29. Lockie Ferguson also didn’t play much of T20 cricket in his career, though, he bowls quick and might hurry up the batsmen of the opposition.

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