Kolkata Knight Riders are one of the most successful franchises in the IPL right after the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings. They have won the trophy twice and have been a tough team to play against for most opposition. However, sometimes when they have struggled, they have struggled badly and this should be a worrying factor for a team who some might say has not been able to secure many back-ups for many key positions in this year's IPL mega auction.
With that being said, KKR has also managed to pool in a very strong XI. One that has all the depth and all the firepower which may help them in a long way as the season progresses especially when you consider that they will be playing most of their games in batting-friendly pitches like Wankhede and in Pune.
pic source: twitter.com
Last year as the IPL was divided into two halves due to covid, KKR also had a season of two halves. The first was sad and dull where they were struggling to win even a single match. And the second half was amazing and interesting where they were struggling to lose a game. That is what took them to the finals as well.
They have retained their core by keeping some key players like Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer, Sunil Narine. Varun Chakravarthy. They also managed to keep Nitish Rana and Pat Cummins after the auctions and they had one of the best picks in the IPL to buy Shreyas Iyer who not only will be captaining this side but is also in the form of his life.
This KKR playing XI looks a daunting side and perhaps one of the best teams in the tournament if may dare say, provided, their starting XI plays most games.
Let us look at their expected playing XI and their strengths and squads of the Kolkata Knight Riders -
- Aaron Finch - He might not have been their first pick and might have been bought in as a replacement for Alex Hales but the IPL history is replete with examples when a player who has not been picked in the IPL but coming on later as a replacement has changed a team’s fortunes. Remember the name Chris Gayle for RCB?
- Venkatesh Iyer - He was perhaps one of the biggest finds of last year both for Kolkata Knight Riders and for Indian Cricket. It was his heroics at the latter half of the season that helped KKR stage an epic comeback in the tournament and finish as runners-up.
- Nitish Rana - An explosive batsman when he is in the mood. He is someone who can build an innings and someone who can play the role of an anchor or an aggressor as and when required. He is a core member of KKR’s middle order.
- Shreyas Iyer - Perhaps one of India’s brightest players at the moment and for the future, Shreyas Iyer might turn out to be the buy of the IPL for many years to come for KKR. He is in brilliant form across all formats and he will be captaining KKR this year.
- Sheldon Jackson (WK) - A good young prospect who has been around for a while and he will be looking to make sure that he cashes in whenever he gets a chance to showcase his talent both with the gloves and with the cricket bat.
- Andre Russell - No other player in the world can make you believe that you can win a game when there’s 80 needed for the last 4 overs except this man. When he is at the crease there is only a big bully no matter what the score or the target is. Till he is there, they always have a chance. He is a gun bowler and has been a key player for the knight riders for a long while.
- Sunil Narine - He might not be at his absolute best but even a 70 per cent Sunil Narine is a champion player who can win you the game on his own both with the bat and the ball. He is perhaps one of their ace cards who has always delivered when it is needed.
- Pat Cummins - One of the best bowlers in the world and now he is also one of the best strikers of the cricket ball at 7-8 position. Needless to say, he will be a key asset for KKR this season.
- Shivam Mavi - With no huge Indian international bowlers, this might just be a chance for Shivam Mavi to shine this season and make a name for himself. He is a good young bowler and this might just be his season.
- Varun Chakravarthy - As far as bowling is concerned he is one of the biggest reasons that KKR have done so well in the IPL since the last few years. He was a find for KKR and even the Indian team. It will be interesting to see if he can replicate that form this season as well.
- Umesh Yadav - He was picked late in the auction by KKR and he has not played much in the IPL last season and whenever he was playing he was a tad expensive. But we all know the quality and experience he has and if he can convert this experience to being their key bowler.
Kolkata Knight Riders Squad IPL 2022:
IPL 2022 KKR Squad: Andre Russell, Varun Chakravarthy, Venkatesh Iyer, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, Shivam Mavi, Sheldon Jackson, Ajinkya Rahane, Rinku Singh, Anukul Roy, Rasikh Dar, Baba Indrajith, Chamika Karunaratne, Abhijeet Tomar, Pratham Singh, Ashok Sharma, Sam Billings, Aaron Finch, Tim Southee, Ramesh Kumar, Mohammad Nabi, Umesh Yadav, Aman Khan
Squad Composition - 25
Amount Remaining In Purse - INR 0.45 Crore
Kolkata Knight Riders Playing 11 IPL 2022 (Suggested XI)
Aaron Finch, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer (C), Sheldon Jackson (WK), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy & Umesh Yadav.