One of the most followed and controversial teams in IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders will look to have a strong session after a relatively weak campaign in 2019. The two times champions also had five other play-off qualifications but last year they failed to deliver as a team and in the end it was a little too much for Andre Russell to take them to the top four.
They have made a few changes, most notably the release of experienced Robin Uthappa, Piyush Chawla, and Chris Lynn, and acquired Pat Cummins for 15.5 Crore along with the World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan. Their previous experience in UAE during the 2014 IPL was not a happy one and in fact, the turnaround started when they moved back to India which finished with lifting the cup. But this time with a more balanced squad they would hope for a strong showing.
Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan, Varun Chakravarthy, Tom Banton, Rahul Tripathi, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Praveen Tambe, Nikhil Naik
KKR always go for few big overseas names during the auction to build the core of their batting line up. Andre Russell is still their biggest strength and he is having a fairly good CPL. Despite not being 100% fit, Russell, playing only as a batsman, has scored three half-centuries already. If someone can clear the bigger grounds in UAE easily it has to be Andre Russell. Sunil Narine is a revelation this season and despite playing only four matches for a strong Trinbago Knight Riders side delivered a couple of all-round match-winning performance. With his remodeled action the potency in his bowling is back and in UAE’s spin-friendly pitches he should be a handful. Morgan and Cummins will also come after playing the T20 and ODI series against each other. Except these four they have few exciting players like Tom Banton and Chris Green who are having a good recent few weeks and should feature at some stage during IPL.
Captain Dinesh Karthik will continue his quest to get back to Indian limited over the squad. Also, the youngsters like Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana are now regular at India-A level and would like to push for a place in the senior side. The inclusion of Rahul Tripathi gives them another option at the top order. The fans will be excited to see Kamlesh Nagarkoti for the first time after injuries keeping him out of IPL for the last two seasons. Kuldeep Yadav will lead the spin department with new signing Varun Chakravarty as his understudy.