Sports Monks

IPL 2020: 5 Players to Watch Out For KKR This Season

It was a successful day at the office for Kolkata Knight Riders at the IPL 2020 auctions. They headed into the auctions with 14 players and added another nine. The squad strength is currently 25 with as many as 8 overseas players. KKR bought four overseas players at the auctions, three of who will be the players to watch out for KKR this season. Kolkata also recorded the highest bid in this year’s auction as they bought Pat Cummins for 15.50 crores. In the process, Cummins became the costliest overseas player ever to play in the IPL. Something which is very evident from the KKR squad is that their future in the upcoming season heavily rests on the shoulders of their overseas players and the way they play will define KKR’s journey in the tournament.

Therefore as a new IPL season awaits, here are the key players to watch out for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020.   

Also Read: Full List of India’s Cricket Calendar in 2020

Tom Banton

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Banton the basher from England made his T20I debut at just 21 years of age. He broke into the domestic scene with his exhilarating batting for Somerset in the T20 Blast in the 2017-18 season. Subsequently, the world noticed him and he started playing franchise T20 cricket. His dynamic approach to batting is what makes him a player for the future, certainly in the England cricket circle. He recently played in the Qatar T10 League and scored a 45-ball 80 for the Qalandars against the Karnataka Tuskers. He was then roped in by the Brisbane Heat for BBL 09. Currently, he is playing for the Heat and has scored 87 runs from three games. His strike rate of 164.15 is what makes him an impact player in the competition. Very evidently Banton was a replacement for Chris Lynn whom KKR released before the auctions. Interestingly KKR roped in Banton at his base price of 2 crores when it was expected that he would go for a few more bucks. A like for like replacement for Lynn, KKR would hope that Banton lights up IPL 13 with his batting exploits. Among all the KKR players, he is one of the key players to watch out for.

Eoin Morgan

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KKR CEO Venky Mysore said ‘Welcome Home’ to Eoin Morgan after they bought him for 5.25 crores. Someone who has modeled his captaincy on Brendon McCullum, the KKR coach was also thrilled after securing Morgan in their ranks. His experience as an international skipper is what KKR would be banking on. Besides that, he would be the perfect backup for Dinesh Karthik, who will continue to lead KKR in IPL 2020. His recent World Cup win with England got him into an elite list of captains who have won the trophy for their respective teams. With Karthik, Russell, Morgan and Narine there is enough experience in the KKR team which they can make full use of in the upcoming season. Morgan was a part of Kolkata squad between 2011 to 2015 and his return will certainly boost the Kolkata fans after they saw their team have a forgetful IPL season. 

Also Read: IPL Auction 2020 As it Happened

Pat Cummins

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Cummins became the costliest overseas player in IPL history after he was bought in for 15.50 crores by KKR. He was a part of the squad which won its second IPL title in 2014. Since then, he has not featured regularly in the IPL apart from playing couple of seasons for Delhi Capitals. Like Morgan, Cummins is also back home and will lead the bowling attack for his side. 2017 was his most successful IPL season with Delhi Capitals where he picked up 17 wickets from 16 games. He is now among the best bowlers in international cricket in all formats and KKR would hope to get the best and the most out of Cummins when he takes the field for his side. He will certainly be one of the bowlers to watch out for in this IPL season. 

Dinesh Karthik

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Karthik did not have the best of seasons in IPL 2019 and this is what makes him one of the KKR players to watch out for this season. Despite having a forgetful IPL 12, where his captaincy skills were below par, the management decided to stick with him for IPL 2020. This is his big chance to get things right and become the second skipper after Gautam Gambhir to left a trophy with KKR. He has a good core of players around him whom he can fall back on as and when required. Karthik will need to up his game with the bat besides brushing up his captaincy skills this season. His exploits at the Nidahas Trophy final for India has enhanced his reputation as a finisher for India and KKR got a taste of it in 2018 where he consistently finished games off for his side. 2019 again was a bad year for Karthik and he has a chance to revive himself in IPL 2020. 

Also Read: Costliest Players in IPL 2020 Auctions

Andre Russell

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The West Indian all-rounder scored the most runs for KKR last season and almost single-handedly helped them win six games out of the stipulated 14. He scored 510 runs and picked up 11 wickets with the ball and looked the only in-form player in the squad. He played with multiple injuries and a heavily strapped shoulder throughout the season. Managing his injuries will be a tough task for the KKR physio and management. He has increased expectations manifold after having his most successful IPL season for the franchise. KKR would have Russell starts from where he left off last season and stays fit throughout the tournament to bring the best out of him. His all-round skill makes him KKR’s player to watch out for in the list. He was one of the four overseas players to be retained by KKR before the IPL 2020 auctions.

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