2 time winners Kolkata Knight Riders have always looked a team good enough to win more trophies and have reached playoffs regularly . However for some reason or other they have fallen short . Eoin Morgan will be leading the team for the full season this year and in the latest auction they have managed some great recruits at pretty low prices . Shakib Al Hassan is back in his old franchise in which he was a part of 2 titles in 2012 & 2014 . Ben Cutting is another great buy this year , who can cause mayhem in final overs of batting . Good Indian buys in Karun Nair , allrounder Pawan Negi and seasoned Harbhajan Singh who can also double up as a mentor for young spinners.
Batting wise KKR always had their issues in batting order. They have opened with Sunil Narine to use his hitting prowess in powerplays but when Narine failed to deliver they went in with more conventional openers and therefore never got into a settled opening pair. Also in middle order Eoin Morgan tended to come much lower down the order. This time they can try and use Shakib higher in the batting order as in 2019 World cup Shakib batted in top order and scored heavily for Bangladesh. KKR have also recruited Tim Siefert of New Zealand who can do power hitting as opener. Then there is Nitish Rana who can produce big hits . All things considered that may start with aggressive Rahul Tripathi and more steady Shubman Gill as openers . Gill also needs to push up his strike rate . Middle order can be Rana, Morgan , Karthik , Russell and one from Narine or Shakib .
The bowling has good riches as KKR management have always ensured a strong bowling arsenal. Cummins , Krishna and Nagarkoti may start with Varun Chakravarty or Kuldeep Yadav as spinner followed by one of Shakib and Narine with Russell ( if fit) as 6th bowler. KKR also have Kiwi quick Lockie Ferguson in their ranks along with Harbhajan Singh and Pawan Negi all waiting in the wings . Hence good bowling options galore .
Kuldeep Yadav has had a difficult two years so IPL 2021 will be very crucial for him to rejuvenate his career.
KKR will be playing most of their games in Ahmedabad and Bangalore and some in Chennai , Mumbai.
Very good bench strength .Lots of options to choose from to cover up losses of form or injuries . Quality pace attack . Bowling attack for all conditions .Power packed middle order batting.
Lack of firepower in opening batting unless Rahul Tripathy gets more consistent and Gill pushes up his strike rate . Also apparent confusions in setting the right middle order . Diminishing bowling form of Narine and chronic fitness worries of key player and trump card Andre Russell .
KKR probable starting XI
Rahul Trapathy/ Karun Nair , Shubman Gill , Nitish Rana , Eoin Morgan , Dinesh Karthik , Andre Russell , Shakib Al Hassan / Narine , Pat Cummins , Nagarkoti , Varun Chakraborty/ Kuldeep , Prasidh Krishna
Has the potential to reach playoffs
KKR full squad for IPL 2021
Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy and Tim Seifert, Shakib-al-Hasan, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Karun Nair, Pawan Negi, Venkatesh Iyer, Sheldon Jackson and Vaibhav Arora.