IPL 2021: Sunil Gavaskar wants Kolkata Knight Riders to change their opening combination; suggests a new-look pair

Seeing the Kolkata Knight Riders' opening combination failing,Sunil Gavaskar suggested a new opening pair for the team ahead.

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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The Indian Premier League is heading into the third week and the Kolkata Knight Riders find themselves lagging by some distance. They started the tournament on a winning note but went onto lose a whopping four games in a row to hit the bottom of the table. They got back to winning ways by defeating the Punjab Kings by five wickets in the most recent league game, which has also meant a jump of three spots on the table, although they are tied on 4 points with the two teams below them after six games.

One of the major areas of concern for Eoin Morgan’s men has been their poor show in the powerplay, where they have continuously lost wickets and the form of their opening combination. Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill have opened for the team in all 6 matches but they are yet to put a significant stand. While Rana has still been amongst the runs to some extent, Gill has been struggling, to say the least. The right-hander has the highest score of 33 and has not been able to shift gears in the powerplay.

Seeing the Kolkata Knight Riders’ opening combination failing, the legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar suggested a new opening pair for the Eoin Morgan-led side going ahead in the Indian Premier League. Gavaskar said there is a case for Rahul Tripathi to open with Sunil Narine.

Rahul Tripathi can open the batting, that’s the way to go for him: Sunil Gavaskar

Rahul Tripathi has been the most consistent KKR batsman this season, getting runs at number three and stitching crucial stands in the middle-order. Gavaskar suggested that Rana has been successful while batting at No.3 and Tripathi made a name for himself in the IPL as an opener. Therefore, KKR could think of swapping their positions.

“Nitish Rana, in the years that he has been very successful for KKR, he has been batting at No.3. So, if Rahul Tripathi can open the batting, which he used to do earlier on for the other franchises, maybe that’s the way to go for him,” Gavaskar told Star Sports after KKR beat PBKS by 5 wickets in Ahmedabad.

“I think KKR have to make up their minds whether Sunil Narine opens the batting with Shubman Gill or Rahul Tripathi opens the batting. With Shubman Gill also – struggling and not quite there; maybe there is a case for Tripathi to open with Sunil Narine.”

The former Indian captain also said that Eoin Morgan will be pleased with the win and at the fact that he was back amongst runs. The KKR skipper has been in a lean patch, but he stayed till the end took KKR across the line through his unbeaten 47 off 40.

“He was playing his shots well. He was being aggressive, which is his normal game. When you contribute towards teams win and steady the ship – because at one stage they were 3 wickets down and they needed that partnership between him and Rahul Tripathi – that steadied the ship and eventually to take your team home. That gives you a lot of confidence for the matches to come. I think, Morgan will be very pleased with the win and the way he contributed to that win,” said Gavaskar.