The Knight Riders gear up for their new life, under brand new skipper Dinesh Karthik at their fortress Eden Gardens, as they host three-time IPL finalists Royal Challengers Bangalore.
KKR managed to dominate the Challengers when they last faced at this venue. The side will be hoping to replicate their efforts to start the season off to a positive note.
Here’s a look at KKR’s potential line-up as they look to topple the Virat Kohli led RCB.
Everyone is familiar with the Australian’s exploits in the shortest format of the game. Initially a middle order batsman, Lynn proved his potential at the top of the order during last season before getting pulled because of an injury.
The big-hitter would be hoping to take on the new ball bowlers to give a stellar start for the Knight Riders.
The makeshift opener was an eye catching success at the last year’s IPL, as the West Indian managed to destroy the bowlers and even secured the record for the fastest fifty when these sides met last time on this venue.
The Knight Riders may use this trump card yet again to get a left hand-right hand batting combination to put the pressure on the fresh RCB bowling attack.
After 10 seasons over different franchises, Uthappa is one of the most experienced players and can be shouldered the responsibility of batting at No.3 for the side.
The IPL 2014 orange cap winner has rescued his side out of trouble on several occasions and would look to do the same if the side falters against his very first franchise.
The newly appointed skipper will like to get the campaign off a good start and will most likely bat at No.4 considering that the side lost it’s entire middle order batsmen like Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav and Yusuf Pathan in the auctions.
Karthik, who is coming off a sensational form after his mind-boggling exploit in the finals of the Nidhas Trophy, would be hoping to translate the success into the IPL.
The young batsman has been instrumental for his former franchise Mumbai Indians during his short stint there. Rana could prove to be a crucial addition to the shallow KKR middle order by being the anchor around which everyone can play.
The lack of batting resources at KKR is clearly evident as Russell might be forced to bat up the order a bit.
The West Indian all rounder, who is coming off a one-year suspension, will look to breathe fire as he is reunited with his former franchise after they decided to retain him.
A pick in the latter stages of the auction, Johnson has proven to be a vital asset over the years. The fierce left-armer can help to secure early wickets in the powerplay and smack some crucial runs down the order if required.
Johnson would be hoping to fill the void created by the unfortunate ruling out of Mitchell Starc by helping KKR to control the dangerous RCB top order.
Spin has always been the greatest asset for the Knight Riders, the value for spin was clearly seen when the side decided to use their RTM card for the long-time player Piyush Chawla.
Chawla, who is one of the most successful leg-spinners in the history of the competition will look to start off the campaign in a bright fashion by returning to his hunting ground.
Yet another dynamic weapon to complete the spin trio, yadav has been on a roll ever since his call-up to the Indian national side. The left arm chinaman has bamboozled quite a few batsman in his short career so far.
The former India U-19 representative will prove to be a vital cog if he manages to restrict the run flow or grab a handful of wickets for his side.
The Karnataka pacer is an experienced player who will prove to be the glue that holds the new looking pace-attack for the two time finalists.
Kumar has over 100 wickets to his name and will look to add more to his tally after returning back to his former franchise after a short stint with Mumbai Indians.
Coming off an excellent U-19 World Cup winning campaign, the youngster will be looking to fill in the shoes of Umesh Yadav who was bought by RCB in the auctions.
Having the ability to hit the 150 kmph mark on a consistent basis, the KKR will definitely look into giving the youngster a debut, considering his ability and his form.
What changes would you make to this XI? Let us know in the comments section.