3 glaring issues with the KKR squad that might be exposed
The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) entered the 2022 mega auction with four significant players, fresh off their performance in the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) final. They welcomed back previous players like Pat Cummins, Nitish Rana, and Shivam Mavi, as well as a new skipper in Shreyas Iyer.
However, declaring KKR’s IPL 2022 auction a triumph may be premature. The two-time winners missed out on a few important targets and are dealing with some challenges as they try to win their third crown.
KKR’s squad for IPL 2022: Andre Russell, Varun Chakravarthy, Venkatesh Iyer, Sunil Narine, Shreyas Iyer, Pat Cummins, Nitish Rana, Shivam Mavi, Sheldon Jackson, Ajinkya Rahane, Rinku Singh, Anukul Roy, Rasikh Dar, Chamika Karunaratne, Baba Indrajith, Ashok Sharma, Pratham Singh, Abhijeet Tomar, Sam Billings, Alex Hales, Ramesh Kumar, Mohammad Nabi, Aman Khan, Umesh Yadav.
Here are three glaring issues with the KKR squad for IPL 2022 that might be exposed down the line.
KKR’s batting lacks firepower
Apart from Andre Russell, who has had awful form in the previous two IPL seasons, KKR’s batting lineup is devoid of power-hitters. Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, and Sheldon Jackson are all capable of raising the ante, but they aren’t the type of players who can provide match-defining aggressive innings when the situation calls for it.
If Russell doesn’t hit, KKR may have a difficult time setting high totals or chasing them down. They may allay some of their fears by fielding players like Alex Hales, but this is a major flaw that will be difficult to overcome, especially if Ajinkya Rahane is included in the starting XI.
KKR don’t have an IPL-tested wicket-keeper
For most of the IPL 2022 auction, KKR was without a wicket-keeper, but they finally signed two in Sheldon Jackson and Sam Billings. While both players have shown themselves to be effective hitters in the past, they may not be the type of players an IPL club wants in its starting XI.
If Billings makes the team, he’ll likely have to bat in the middle of the order, which will create a stalemate at the top of the order. Jackson, on the other side, lacks IPL experience and has only one excellent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy season under his belt.
KKR might have been more aggressive in the IPL 2022 auction and acquired an IPL-experienced wicket-keeper, ideally one who could also add some power-hitting.
KKR are too reliant on their retentions
KKR doesn’t have a lot of options when it comes to their starting lineup. Three of their four overseas cricketers will have to be Russell, Narine, and Cummins, with Venkatesh and Varun Chakravarthy filling specialized roles in the side. The duties of the second Indian pacer and wicket-keeper are the only areas where KKR has some freedom.
If Russell and Narine fail to deliver or are injured, backups Chamika Karunaratne and Mohammad Nabi may not be able to save the franchise in crucial games. There aren’t many huge names on the bench, and KKR may struggle if its retainers don’t find form.