He had a fantastic economy rate of just under 7 in the previous season despite bowling the tough overs and KKR will be hoping that he stays fit throughout the season which could be the only barrier for him.
Shivam Mavi was paid a huge price in the mega auction to get back his services for KKR and it was on the back of a really good season last year. The right arm seamer picked up 11 wickets in 9 games towards the back end of the season last year and played a crucial role for KKR on their unbelievable comeback.
The 34-year-old seamer can be very effective with the new ball with his ability to bowl outswingers and with not much experience among the Indian seamers in the squad, Umesh is likely to take the field against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Sheldon Jackson who plays for Saurashtra in the domestic leg hasn’t represented India in international cricket yet. He smashed 513 runs at a strike rate of 147.83 in 11 matches during his recent stint at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Kolkata Knight Riders’ wicketkeeper Sheldon Jackson grabbed everyone’s attention when he stumped Chennai Super Kings’ Robin Uthappa in their campaign opener.
Sunil Narine has also done wonders for the franchise since his debut in IPL and his mystery spin still has been very effective in the limited-overs format. He can also be used as a floater in the batting order, especially against spin bowling where he can smack sixes at will. Narine can be a match-winner in both the bowling and batting departments and he is likely to get the job done more often.
Andre Russell has been pivotal to the KKR middle-order for a long time now and he has the ability to win games on his own with some enormous ball-striking abilities. The right-hander will play the finisher role for the side and he can also contribute to the bowling department with his medium pace.
Sam Billings will be the first choice wicketkeeper in the playing XI with not much IPL experience for Sheldon Jackson and Baba Indrajith. The England batter can hit some lusty blows towards the back end of the innings and he will get continous opportunities to showcase his potential in the cash-rich tournament.
Nitish Rana was brought back by KKR after having a decent season last year and he has played some eye-catching innings in the past. The left-hander made his international debut last year and he is coming off on the back of good form in the Ranji Trophy 2022 season a few days back.
He has also been in fantastic form in the international circuit as well. The right-hander has the ability to switch gears quickly and does possess a wide range of shots as well. He can play the anchor role apart from going for the kill and he is expected to have a breakout season with the kind of form he has been across formats.
Ajinkya Rahane is likely to get the nod for the opening game against Chennai Super Kings with Finch being not available. This will be a great opportunity for the veteran batter to get back in the scheme of things for the Indian team and a consistent run at the top might just seal his spot in the playing XI.
Iyer on the other hand will be riding high on confidence after an extraordinary start to his IPL career last year and has done really well in the international setup in recent times. The tall left-hander will be one of the vital cogs for the KKR this season if they have to get into the playoffs, he has to be very destructive at the top of the order.