The two-time champions, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), were in disarray last year. They performed so poorly that even a change in captaincy was not enough to rescue them. Just like Punjab Kings (PBKS), they are one of the most talented teams on paper. But, poor management is dragging them down.
KKR was a force to reckon with during the mid-2010s. Under the leadership of Gambhir, they managed to win two titles within three years. But since then, they have failed as a unit. The fall of Gambhir meant the fall of KKR. Even after picking up the heroes of the U19 World Cup, they have failed to nourish them.
But, like every other year, they can win the trophy. All it matters is how Eoin Morgan manages to lead the team. With multiple quality players, they can make a comeback from any situation. However, a strong lineup means that few players might not get regular chances.
Here are 3 KKR players who might be benched for most of the IPL season:
1. Gurkeerat Singh Mann
Gurkeerat Singh Mann’s IPL career began with an outstanding 29 off 12 balls in the 2012 season of the IPL. He was an effective middle-order batsman who could contribute by playing useful cameos. Adding on, whenever Punjab’s top order failed, Mann was responsible enough to drag his team out of trouble. Now, he is a part of the Kolkata franchise which has a strong middle order.
Mann’s downfall began when he was bought by Delhi Daredevils in the 2018 auction. During that season, he was left to warm the bench. After this issue, he was bought by RCB for his base price of INR 50 lakhs. And within a couple of years, he finds himself under the wings of Ein Morgan.
He has a decent IPL record though. In 41 IPL matches, he has scored 511 runs. Because he bats lower down the order, this stat is acceptable. Apart from that, he can bowl tight overs. With an economy rate of 7.46, he can restrict the batsmen from one end. But, the KKR management has been notorious when it comes to giving proper chances to players. Therefore, Mann might not get enough chances this year too.
2. Tim Seifert
One of the major reasons Tim Seifert is on the list is because he is a wicket-keeper. And with Dinesh Karthik guarding the wickets, it is quite difficult for an overseas player to replace him. Although Tim is a hard hitter, he has to wait for his opportunity. Maybe, with a different franchise, the case would have been different.
Tim has the record of the quickest T20 century in New Zealand’s domestic history. He had smashed a 40 ball-ton against Auckland. Soon, he was drafted into the national squad. In his 35-match T20I career, Tim has scored 695 runs. He is consistent with the bat, as he averages 24.82 in this format.
But with a power-packed batting lineup, the management will be looking for overseas bowling options. This means that Tim will play the part of the backup wicketkeeper for KKR. Being a pure striker of the cricket ball, he can be seen as the future of the franchise. It will be interesting to see how the management nurtures him.
3. Ben Cutting
“It’s out of here, it’s on the MG road,” Ravi Shastri was well impressed with Cutting’s ball-striking ability during the 2016 final of the IPL. As SRH was trying to reach the 180-marks, Cutting single-handedly took them over 200. However, it is a shame that franchises failed to give him proper chances with both the bat and ball since then. And this year, he is with Kolkata, which already has Andre Russell, meaning that he might not get enough chances.
But if head coach Brendon McCullum decides to give Cutting a chance, he might cash in on the situation. The only way Cutting gets to play in the IPL is if Russell gets injured. Both of them play the same role. Adding on, Cutting has been successful in BBL. Therefore, KKR has the perfect backup this time.
Cutting has played 21 IPL games and has scored 238 runs. Well, every run he had scored in the 2016 final was priceless. With a humongous strike rate of 168.79, he could complement the likes of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine. But, it will be interesting to see if Morgan goes with Cutting or Pat Cummins. Probably, he will go with the no.1 Test bowler in the world.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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