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Can KKR spill the magic this IPL season with an unsettled pace attack

As KKR starts their campaign on Sunday against the last year's runner up Sunrisers Hyderabad, can they will be able to spill the magic again

Last updated: 24.03.2019
Can KKR spill the magic this IPL season with an unsettled pace attack | Sports Social Blog

Gautam Gambhir had made an amazing connection with the people of the city of joy, Kolkata while leading Kolkata Knight Riders. Under his leadership, KKR won the IPL title during the 2012 and 2014 editions. However, KKR management opted to not retain the southpaw, a decision which faced a lot of heat from the fans across Kolkata.

Dinesh Karthik, the Tamil Nadu-born wicketkeeper-batsman got the opportunity to lead the side. Under his captaincy, the side did exceedingly well in reaching the playoff stage. Karthik led from the front during the season as he aggregated close to 500 runs (498 runs) in the 16 games. As the 33-year-old gets ready to take the charge of the side for this season, by the look of things, it seems that KKR have an amazingly balanced side going into the tournament.

The bad news

KKR have been one side which probably holds the record of having injured players. This season seems no different for the side as they already have 3 fast bowlers pulling out of the tournament due to injuries. Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi, the two quick young sensations rose to fame after their blistering performances during India's victorious U19 World Cup campaign have been ruled out of the whole tournament. While Mavi did play for KKR last season, Nagarkoti remains unseen in the IPL juggernaut. South Africa's Anrich Nortje is known for his raw pace and was one of the players to watch out this season. However, a last-minute injury has seen him withdraw his name from this edition of the tournament.

The opening combination

Gautam Gambhir was known to take some tricky decisions as skipper of KKR. One such decision which turned out a mighty one was opening the batting with Sunil Narine at one end. Dinesh Karthik also used the left-hander as a pinch hitter in a few matches and it will be interesting to see if they stick with him at one end. If that happens, one-off Robin Uthappa or Chris Lynn will be seen partnering the Caribbean. Both Uthappa and Lynn had a decent outing in the last season and if the side wants to lift the trophy, the two will have to play a mighty role.

The middle-order muddle

Nitish Rana plays a very important fiddle for Kolkata. While his numbers during the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy has not been great, the 27-year-old will have a task to handle. Karthik will be playing the role of a filler or a finisher as and when needed. His plethora of international experience will help him read and understand the situation better than anyone else. Shubman Gill has been in great touch during the domestic season and as a result, was awarded a place in the Indian side. He would like to return with great numbers from the tournament in order to continue impressing the management and maybe become a part of the squad that flies to play the World Cup in England later in the year.

If by chance, a few of these guys fail and the opposition thinks they can relax a bit, well, don't do that. Why? Well, because then comes Dre Russ and when he explodes, no bowler is left unscathed.

Bowling brigade of KKR

They have the magic of Sunil Narine and mystery of chinaman Kuldeep Yadav. Both of them had similar success with the ball last season as they accounted 17 wickets each. They will have experienced Piyush Chawla's guidance as well. In the pace department, after the injured trio, New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson would be leading the bowling. Kerala-born Sandeep Warrier had an amazing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and would want to continue his impressive run with the ball. Andre Russell will be having the duty of bowling in the death overs, a responsibility which the 32-year-old has been doing for a while in various T20 tournaments. Likes of Prasidh Krishna, Harry Gurney, and Carlos Brathwaite can play important roles with the ball for the team as and when needed.

Possible XI:

Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Sandeep Warrier, Piyush Chawla

As KKR starts their campaign on Sunday against the last year's runner up Sunrisers Hyderabad, the people from the city of joy will be rooting the men in purple and gold at their loudest at the Eden Gardens.

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