IPL 2021 Kolkata Knight Riders Preview: Can Shakib & Captain Morgan Turn KKR’s Fate?

IPL 2021 Kolkata Knight Riders Preview: Can Shakib & Captain Morgan Turn KKR’s Fate?

Time for Kolkata Knight Riders Preview.

If you were a Kolkata Knight Riders supporter last year (like I was), it was a very tough season to follow. A great squad, but did not get going AT ALL.

New IPL edition, different fate for KKR? With Harbhajan Singh and Shakib Al Hasan, the steal of the auction, can KKR spin to the title? Will they make amends this year and not make too many changes?

What do you think? Does KKR have a shot? Here are my thoughts.

Also Read: IPL 2021 Auctions Review, KKR All Time XI

IPL History

2012, 2014 – (Champions), 2017, 2018 – (3rd), 2011, 2016 – (4th)

How Did They Do Last Year?

5th. Two seasons in a row, KKR have lost out on net run-rate. Never convincing last year, managed to pull victory out of jaws of defeat.

  • The much hyped finishing trio of Dinesh Karthik-Eoin Morgan-Andre Russell did not materialize. Brendon McCullum’s infamous notebook & lack of clarity on their position contributed to the underwhelming year. Oh and the DK-Morgan captaincy switch mid-tournament did not help at all.
  • The story of the year was Varun Chakravarthy. An architect whose cricket dreams were broken finally found fame with match winning performances. He was even selected for an international cap, but fitness issues kept him back.

Injury News

Gurkeerat Singh Mann replaces Rinku Singh, who suffered a knee injury. Captain Eoin Morgan also suffered a split webbing in the India vs England series, but is hopeful to be ready by the first match.

Complete Kolkata Knight Riders Squad

Batsman: Karun Nair, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, , Rahul Tripathi

WK: Sheldon Jackson, Dinesh Karthik

Fast Medium: Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Vaibhav Arora

Spinners: Harbhajan Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy

All-Rounders: Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Pawan Negi, Venkatesh Iyer

Overseas: Eoin Morgan*, Pat Cummins, Ben Cutting, Lockie Ferguson, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Tim Seifert (WK), Shakib Al Hasan

Withdrawn: Rinku Singh (Injured)

Predicted KKR XI

  1. Shubman Gill, 2. Rahul Tripathi/Karun Nair, 3. Nitish Rana, 4. Shakib Al Hasan5. Dinesh Karthik (WK), 6. Eoin Morgan (C), 7. Andre Russell/ Ben Cutting8. Pat Cummins/ Lockie Ferguson, 9. Kamlesh Nagarkoti/Pawan Negi, 10.Varun Chakravarthy, 11. Prasidh Krishna

Watch Out For

  • Prasidh Krishna. An international cap can definitely raise confidence of a player. Will we see a Prasidh Krishna 2.0 in IPL 2021? With a lack of Indian fast bowlers in the squad, he has to carry the burden on his shoulders.
  • With their first three games in Chennai, don’t be surprised if KKR picks the experienced Harbhajan SinghShakib Al Hasan instead of pace duo of Pat Cummins-Lockie Ferguson. If Shakib can occupy a spot in the top order, then the finishing strength of KKR can finally showcase their abilities.
  • Can KKR manage to play both Russell and Ben Cutting, especially at Bangalore? With so many international stars in the line up, Ben Cutting might not make everybody’s foreign 4, but can hit the ball a long, long way.

Where Can Things Go Wrong For the Knight Riders?

  • Plain & Simple. Get the XI right, go to the qualifiers. Keep shuffling and create a ‘fluid middle order, ‘ and get stuck in the middle of the points table.
  • Maybe one way to go is to have different XIs per venue. Have a spin-filled lineup for Chennai (Pawan Negi, Varun, Kuldeep, Harbhajan, Shakib the options) and pack it with pace in Mumbai (Cummins, Lockie, Ben Cutting, Russell, Mavi, Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier the options).

Venues & Fixtures

Venues

Bangalore- 5, Ahmedabad – 4, Mumbai – 3, Chennai – 2

Fixtures

  • 11 April: SRH vs KKR (Chennai)
  • 13 April: KKR vs MI (Chennai)
  • 18 April: RCB vs KKR (Chennai)
  • 21 April: KKR vs CSK (Mumbai)
  • 24 April: RR vs KKR (Mumbai)
  • 26 April: PBKS vs KKR (Ahmedabad)
  • 29 April: DC vs KKR (Ahmedabad)
  • 3 May: KKR vs RCB (Ahmedabad)
  • 8 May: KKR vs DC (Ahmedabad)
  • 10 May: MI vs KKR (Bangalore)
  • 12 May: CSK vs KKR (Bangalore)
  • 15 May: KKR vs PBKS (Bangalore)
  • 18 May: KKR vs RR (Bangalore)
  • 21 May: KKR vs SRH (Bangalore)
  • 25 May: Qualifier 1 (Ahmedabad)
  • 26 May: Eliminator (Ahmedabad)
  • 28 May: Qualifier 2 (Ahmedabad)
  • 30 May: Final (Ahmedabad)

Prediction

The scheduling will benefit KKR this season. If they can capitalize on their first three games in Chennai, they will have 5 games at the Chinnaswamy at the backend. Opposition beware. Sixes galore with this lineup.

Prediction3rd
Most Runs Shubman Gill
Most WicketsPrasidh Krishna
Emerging PlayerKamlesh Nagarkoti to get a full season?
Surprise PackageHarbhajan Singh
X FactorShakib Al Hasan
Broken Cricket DreamDinesh Karthik, the finisher – Can he make India’s World Cup squad of 23? Or have we seen the last of DK in Indian clothing?
Kolkata Knight Riders Preview Predictions

What do you think of the Kolkata Knight Riders Preview? Your First XI? Will they make the IPL 2021 qualifiers?

If you like this content, please subscribe below for FREE and follow us on our social media accounts.

Follow us here if you are on Medium or Bloglovin‘.

Copyright (2021: 4/3/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Delhi Capitals (DC) Preview IPL 2021: Can Iyer-less DC Go One Step Further in 2021?

Delhi Capitals (DC) Preview IPL 2021: Can Iyer-less DC Go One Step Further in 2021?

Delhi Capitals Preview IPL 2021.

The Delhi franchise has seen almost all kinds of seasons in the IPL. They have seen the height of the qualifiers & semi-finals, including a run to the final in 2020, as well as rock bottom. Everything except for an IPL victory.

Injury to Shreyas Iyer shifts the planning a little bit, but with Rahane & Steven Smith in the reserves, this should not be a problem. What do you say? Can they go one step further?

Also Read: IPL 2021 Auctions Review, DC All-Time XI

IPL History

2020 (2nd), 2009, 2012, 2019 (3rd), 2008 (4th)

How Did They Do Last Year?

2nd. Brilliant start, a steep fall, and a predictable ending—Mumbai Indians edging them in the final. Several positives regardless:

  • Shikhar Dhawan & Shreyas Iyer dependable with the runs at the top
  • Marcus Stoinis the finisher coming to the party
  • The pace duo of Anrich Nortje-Kagiso Rabada giving DC the edge

Injury & COVID-19 News

The Delhi Capitals have been dealt two big blows. The captain, Shreyas Iyer, suffered a shoulder injury during the India Vs England series. He will have his surgery during the IPL and is out of the season.

Rishabh Pant has been appointed the new captain.

In addition, Axar Patel has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in quarantine. Hopefully, he returns in time, but nothing is certain during these times.

Complete Delhi Capitals Squad

Batsman: Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, Vishnu Vinod

WK: Rishabh Pant

All-Rounders: Ravichandran Ashwin, Lalit Yadav, Ripal Patel

Spinners: Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Manimaran Siddharth, Praveen Dubey

Fast Medium: Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Avesh Khan, Lukman Meriwala

Overseas: Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Shimron Hetmyer, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes

Withdrawn: Shreyas Iyer

Predicted DC XI

Due to Patel’s & Iyer’s absence, the balance of the side may change. For the start, I will drop Rabada based on current form and bolster the batting with someone like Steve Smith in the middle order.

  1. Shikhar Dhawan, 2. Prithvi Shaw, 3. Shimron Hetmyer4, Steve Smith/ Sam Billings, 5. Rishabh Pant (C/WK), 6. Marcus Stoinis7. Ravichandran Ashwin, 8. Amit Mishra9. Anrich Nortje10. Ishant Sharma, 11. Umesh Yadav

*Axar Patel will slot at #7 if he can return to the squad

Watch Out For

  • Ravichandran Ashwin – Looks like Ravi Ashwin is having a second wind to his career. A viral YouTube channel, great IPL 2020, followed by a memorable tour of Australia both with the ball and the bat. To cap it off, a century & 9-for in his home ground at Chennai in the England Test series.
  • With the young Rishabh Pant as captain, the leadership group of Ashwin-Dhawan-Smith-Ishant-Mishra will be quite handy. Pant has been consistently destructive in the Indian colors recently, but can he transfer this form to the IPL?

Where Can Things Go Wrong For the Capitals?

Venues & Fixtures

Venues

Kolkata – 5, Ahmedabad – 4, Mumbai – 3, Chennai – 2

Fixtures

  • 10 April: CSK vs DC (Mumbai)
  • 15 April: RR vs DC (Mumbai)
  • 18 April: DC vs PBKS (Mumbai)
  • 20 April: DC vs MI (Chennai)
  • 25 April: SRH vs DC (Chennai)
  • 27 April: DC vs RCB (Ahmedabad)
  • 29 April: DC vs KKR (Ahmedabad)
  • 2 May: PBKS vs DC (Ahmedabad)
  • 8 May: KKR vs DC (Ahmedabad)
  • 11 May: DC vs RR (Kolkata)
  • 14 May: RCB vs DC (Kolkata)
  • 17 May: DC vs SRH (Kolkata)
  • 21 May: DC vs CSK (Kolkata)
  • 23 May: MI vs DC (Kolkata)
  • 25 May: Qualifier 1 (Ahmedabad)
  • 26 May: Eliminator (Ahmedabad)
  • 28 May: Qualifier 2 (Ahmedabad)
  • 30 May: Final (Ahmedabad)

Prediction

The IPL 2020 season displayed what DC are capable of. When they are on a roll, they are the team to watch, but when they get on a losing streak, things go south very soon.

Without Iyer, collapses are something DC need to guard against. My prediction? Always in the race for the qualifiers, but lose out to net run-rate.

Prediction5th
Most Runs Rishabh Pant
Most WicketsRavinchandran Ashwin
Emerging PlayerWill Lukman Meriwala, the SMAT star, get a game?
Surprise PackageAmit Mishra
X FactorAnrich Nortje
Broken Cricket DreamInjury to Shreyas Iyer
Delhi Capitals Preview Predictions

*SMAT – Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

What do you think of the Delhi Capitals Preview? Your First XI? Will they make the IPL 2021 qualifiers?

If you like this content, please subscribe below for FREE and follow us on our social media accounts.

Follow us here if you are on Medium or Bloglovin‘.

Copyright (2021: 4/3/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

IPL 2021 Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Preview: Final Hurrah For MS Dhoni & Suresh Raina?

IPL 2021 Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Preview: Final Hurrah For MS Dhoni & Suresh Raina?

Chennai Super Kings Preview – IPL 2021.

April 2, 2011—”Dhoni finishes it off in style…India lift the World Cup after 28 years.” Exactly 10 years from the World Cup victory, it is possibly the final time we will see captain MS Dhoni & his eternal partner in crime, Suresh Raina.

After a disappointing 2020 season, do MS Dhoni & Suresh Raina have one final memory for the fans?

Also Read: MS Dhoni & Suresh Raina retire: A Tribute, IPL 2021 Auctions Review

IPL History

2010, 2011, 2018 – (Champions)2008, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2019 (Runners Up), 2009, 2014 (3rd)

How Did They Do Last Year?

7th. 6 wins, 8 losses. Loss of Suresh Raina & Harbhajan Singh before the tournament and never really in contention. The athletic Faf du Plessis & Ruturaj Gaikwad were the only positives.

Injury & COVID-19 News

Josh Hazlewood has pulled out of IPL 2021. The bio-bubble effect is taking a toll on players’.

Complete Chennai Super Kings Squad

Batsman: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Cheteshwar Pujara, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, C Hari Nishaanth, Narayan Jagadeesan,

WK: MS Dhoni, Robin Uthappa

All-Rounders: Krishnappa Gowtham, Ravindra Jadeja

Spinners: Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Karn Sharma

Fast Medium: Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Harishankar Reddy, Bhagath Verma

Overseas: Moeen Ali, Dwayne Bravo, Sam Curran, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner

*Josh Hazlewood (withdrawn)

Predicted CSK XI

1. Faf Du Plessis, 2. Ambati Rayudu, 3. Suresh Raina, 4. Ruturaj Gaikwad/Robin Uthappa, 5. MS Dhoni (C/WK), 6. Ravindra Jadeja, 7. Moeen Ali/Dwayne Bravo, 8. Sam Curran, 9. Deepak Chahar, 10. Shardul Thakur, 11. Imran Tahir

Watch Out For

  • Shardul Thakur – Since the historic India vs Australia series, Shardul Thakur has been India’s X-factor, taking crucial wickets in the middle overs. The highest wicket-taker in both the England T20Is & ODIs, he is one to watch out for.
  • Youngsters Tamil Nadu won the Syed Mushtaq Ali this year with Hari Nishaanth, Jagadeesan, and S Rai Kishore. With Ruturaj’s coming of age in IPL 2020, these bunch will give CSK the much needed age balance.

Where Can Things Go Wrong For the Super Kings?

  • The lack of out and out pace – Thakur, Chahar, Sam Curran, & Dwayne Bravo are all smart bowlers, but none have pace to send shivers through the opposition batsmen. With 8/14 of CSKs games at historically high scoring venues of Mumbai & Bangalore, I am not sure if they have enough variation in their attack. Tahir, R Sai Kishore, Jadeja, Gowtham, Moeen Ali, Santner, Karn Sharma would be a dream attack in Chennai, but no home advantage in COVID induced era has thrown their plans off.

Also Read: 7 Things that Went Wrong With CSK in 2020, CSK All-Time XI

Venues & Fixtures

Venues

Mumbai – 5 matches, Delhi – 4 matches , Bangalore – 3 matches , Kolkata – 2 matches

Fixtures

*Note: There is no home advantage in IPL 2021. Here is how “Home vs Away” is divided.

  • 10 April: CSK vs DC (Mumbai)
  • 16 April: PBKS vs CSK (Mumbai)
  • 19 April: CSK vs RR (Mumbai)
  • 21 April: KKR vs CSK (Mumbai)
  • 25 April: CSK vs RCB (Mumbai)
  • 28 April: CSK vs SRH (Delhi)
  • 1 May: MI vs CSK (Delhi)
  • 5 May: RR vs CSK (Delhi)
  • 7 May: SRH vs CSK (Delhi)
  • 9 May: CSK vs PBKS (Bangalore)
  • 12 May: CSK vs KKR (Bangalore)
  • 16 May: CSK vs MI (Bangalore)
  • 21 May: DC vs CSK (Kolkata)
  • 23 May: RCB vs CSK (Kolkata)
  • 25 May: Qualifier 1 (Ahmedabad)
  • 26 May: Eliminator (Ahmedabad)
  • 28 May: Qualifier 2 (Ahmedabad)
  • 30 May: Final (Ahmedabad)

Prediction

  • Return of Raina, addition of Uthappa/Pujara, & youngsters might bolster the lineup, but the lack of home advantage would be too much to cope with. If they can win a few of the first 5 matches in Mumbai, they should have a settled lineup in Delhi.
  • Game Plan: Simple. Win at least 3 out of the first 5. Otherwise out of the reckoning early.
Prediction6th
Most Runs Ambati Rayudu
Most WicketsShardul Thakur
Emerging PlayerR Sai Kishore
Surprise PackageRobin Uthappa
X FactorShardul Thakur
Broken Cricket DreamMS Dhoni, Imran Tahir retire forever?
Chennai Super Kings Preview Predictions

What do you think of the Chennai Super Kings Preview? Your First XI? Will they make the IPL 2021 qualifiers?

If you like this content, please subscribe below for FREE and follow us on our social media accounts.

Follow us here if you are on Medium or Bloglovin‘.

Copyright (2021: 4/3/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com