KKR’s strongest playing XI on paper

During the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were unable to secure several of their first-choice targets and were forced to make many last-minute additions towards the conclusion of Day 2.

The two-time winners, though, will be hopeful of building on their successes and going all the way in 2022 after adding a new skipper in Shreyas Iyer and coming off a good IPL season in which they reached the final.

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 is KKR’s strongest playing XI for the IPL 2022 season.

Openers: Venkatesh Iyer, Alex Hales

To be their first-choice wicket-keeper, KKR must select between Sam Billings and Sheldon Jackson. If Billings participates, the club would be compelled to begin with a domestic alternative like Ajinkya Rahane and Venkatesh Iyer, obviating the need for another overseas player.

However, KKR’s best hope may be to rely on Alex Hales’ energy at the top of the order, alongside Iyer, who should continue to open for the club while playing a different position for the national team. With the other top-order batters not exactly being electrifying with the bat, Hales might help bring the opening firepower to the innings.

Middle Order: Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Sheldon Jackson (wk)

The rest of the top four should be made up of captain Shreyas Iyer and franchise mainstay Nitish Rana, with Jackson filling in as the goalkeeper. The 35-year-old appears to have unlocked his batsmanship potential, coming off a successful Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy season in which he showed significant development in his attacking strokeplay. He could be ready for a regular IPL position at long last.

All-rounders: Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins

The all-rounders of KKR, who have been with the squad for a long, choose themselves. Although there are fitness worries around Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, the West Indian tandem has consistently performed for the team over the years. The pace attack will be led by Cummins, who is on a lower contract this time around.

Bowlers: Umesh Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy

Because Russell and Iyer provide two pace alternatives in the top six, KKR can afford to play an additional batter or spinner in lieu of Umesh Yadav. Given Russell’s shaky health, they would choose to go with Yadav and Shivam Mavi, two frontline Indian quicks. Varun Chakravarthy, who has been retained, completes a starting XI that, obviously, lacks versatility.

KKR don’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.

KKR’s strongest playing XI: Venkatesh Iyer, Alex Hales, Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Sheldon Jackson (wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Umesh Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy