Who will open for Kolkata Knight Riders: Knight Riders have to take a vital decision ahead of their IPL 2020 campaign.
Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders will be the last team to play their inaugural match of the 13th season beginning from September 19 in Abu Dhabi.
Under the captaincy of Dinesh Karthik, Knight Riders would be looking to register their third title. With pacer Harry Gurney set to miss the tournament due to an injury, fans can expect KKR announcing a replacement soon.
It was recently reported that Kolkata were eyeing Bangladesh seamer Mustafizur Rahman as Gurney’s replacement. However, BCB (Bangaldesh Cricket Board) denied an NOC to the left-arm bowler due to his national duty.
— Shubman Gill (@RealShubmanGill) September 2, 2020
While Gurney’s replacement will obviously be someone from outside the current squad, Knight Riders have a confusion to solve from within their squad, i.e., zeroing in on their opening combination for IPL 2020.
Who will open for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020?
With the franchise releasing Chris Lynn before the auction, they are likely to promote Shubman Gill at the top of the order with all-rounder Sunil Narine. Not primarily known for his batting, Narine had started opening alongside former KKR captain Gautam Gambhir in IPL 2017.
A sheer experiment started yielding results for Knight Riders in the form of brisk starts in the powerplay. While Narine has scored three IPL half-centuries since the beginning of IPL 2017, his 724 runs coming at a strike rate of 179.21 takes off the pressure from their other top-order batsmen.
While Gill and Narine have the skills of forming a successful opening pair, Knight Riders might be tempted to open with England batsman Tom Banton who is also an exciting T20 talent.
Speaking during a verbal press conference from Abu Dhabi, Kolkata mentor David Hussey revealed that the franchise is yet to finalize their opening pair. Hussey, who talked about head coach Brendon McCullum’s attacking instincts, might have hinted at KKR thinking of persisting with Narine in the powerplay.
“It’s up for discussion at the moment, and the head coach, Abhishek Nayar [assistant coach] and [Dinesh] Karthik [captain] are yet to decide that. If anyone knows [Brendon] McCullum, he plays the game at 100 miles an hour and encourages his players to take the game on.
“With regards to Shubman Gill, he’s just one hell of a talent. Leave him alone, let him play, and you can see him score hundred after hundred in the IPL,” Hussey told the reporters.
KKR squad for IPL 2020
Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Harry Gurney (injured), 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 Chakravarti, Tom Banton, Rahul Tripathi, Chris Green, Nikhil Naik, Pravin Tambe, M Siddharth.