Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) didn’t have a great season in the 2019 IPL. KKR bowed out before the playoffs and a number of loopholes in the lineup came to the fore. There’s still time for the 2020 edition and the Knights need the proper personnel to resurrect their fortunes.
One team they can think of picking players from is the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Both TKR and KKR, captained by keeper Dinesh Karthik, have mostly the same team management. Brendon McCullum is the head coach of both the franchises with owner Shah Rukh Khan, also being the same.
In fact, a number of players in the TKR- Darren Bravo, Sunil Narine, Colin Munro, Javon Searles, Chris Lynn and McCullum himself- have been part of the KKR at some point or the other.
We take a look at three TKR players, whom KKR can pick for IPL 2020
James Neesham. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
James Neesham has had a wonderful year after making his comeback in the limited-overs series versus Sri Lanka. The left-hander smacked the Lankan bowlers and also made his way into New Zealand’s World Cup squad. In the mega event, he was one of the Black Caps’ star performers and also batted in the Super Over in the Final.
Back in May, he earned a deal for the Knights in the CPL. In the very first game versus St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, he gave a good account of himself, scoring 33 runs and picking up three wickets.
He can well fit into KKR’s scheme of things as the franchise doesn’t have a formidable back-up of all-rounder Andre Russell. Carlos Brathwaite was disappointing last season. The Auckland-born Neesham was in the auction of the last edition, but remained unsold.
Khary Pierre. (Photo by Ashley Allen – CPL T20/Getty Images)
The Kolkata-franchise has had a number of talented spinners in their lineup. But with the performance-level of Piyush Chawla and Sunil Narine diminishing by the time, the team is in need of a fresh spin-bowling option. Khary Pierre can be a great value addition to their setup.
The 27-year-old left-arm spinner doesn’t have a lot of experience, but he has been clever with his trajectory. In the 2018 edition of the CPL, he played seven matches and picked up 11 wickets. The tweaker was also TKR’s most frugal bowler with an economy of 5.65.
The spells of bowling didn’t go unnoticed and in November, he made his T20I debut versus India in Kolkata. On spin friendly wickets at the Eden Gardens, Pierre can emerge to be a tough prospect to deal with for the opponent teams.
Ali Khan. (Photo by Ashley Allen – CPL T20/Getty Images)
Ali Khan was one of the major reasons why TKR managed to win back-to-back CPL titles. The seamer from the United States of America (USA) gave the early breakthroughs most times and ended with 16 wickets from 12 matches. The 28-year-old later became the first cricketer from the USA to get listed for the IPL auction.
However, he couldn’t find a buyer despite a low base price of INR 40 lakhs. There were talks that he would be representing KKR, but that didn’t happen. The Kolkata-based team has strained in the fast bowling department in the last few seasons.
Injury concerns to a number of their speedsters haven’t helped their cause either. The Punjab-born Khan may not be the most renowned bowler going around, but he can shine bright in big tournaments if utilized properly.
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