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IPL 2023 – 3 Players to watch out for from the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise

Jan 31, 2023

The franchise has won the IPL title 2 times

The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are one of the most successful teams in the history of the IPL. Right from the first match of the inaugural IPL season, the Knights have set and earned some unbelievable and mind-boggling records in the IPL’s history books. This franchise also has won the IPL trophy on two occasions – first in 2012 and then again in 2014, while becoming runners-up in 2021. Also, this team has the repute of being one of the most respectable franchises of the IPL.

However, this franchise has off late been facing backlash with regard to its performances, be it on the ground or in the auctions. KKR’s 2022 auction was widely criticised, which did reflect in their campaign as they finished 7th in the points table. Also in the mini-auction, the Purple and Gold franchise had the least purse to opt for any costly buys, so they had to settle for the reasonably cheaper players.

3 players who could stand out for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2023

KKR has some brilliant match-winners within them whom they have retained, but due to the rules, they had to also let go of some of their most promising players. With a fresh start to the IPL in 2023, the Knights would be eager to add another title to their kitty provided they are aware of the immense potential they possess, and so to make their wish true, here are 3 such players who could be the difference :-

1. Venkatesh Iyer

Venkatesh Iyer was the find for KKR as well as the IPL in 2021. While KKR had made a complete mess out of their first half, the second half in UAE saw the Knights bounce back with a roar, and Venkatesh Iyer had a lot of contribution in it. His opening starts with Shuman Gill helped KKR to either post massive totals or chase down targets in a jiffy. He was so good that he was immediately promoted to the Indian national team. In the Sri Lanka tour of India 2021 and the West Indies Tour of India 2021, he was great. He was cited to be the replacement for Hardik Pandya. But with a small drop in form in IPL 2022 and with the rise of a monster named, “Hardik Pandya”, his chances have been marred. Venkatesh has been doing decently well for Madhya Pradesh at the domestic level, and in IPL 2023, KKR would be really banking on him as their main opener.

2. Shreyas Iyer

With Dinesh Karthik gone to RCB, Shreyas Iyer was crowned the new captain for the Knights. And to put it fairly, he did a modest job. His captaincy tactics were at times controversial, but he was definitely a very reliable batter for the Knights in the middle order each time the top order failed. Also, his great ability to back players and promote them according to the team’s needs has benefitted KKR a lot. Shreyas was lauded for his captaincy after KKR’s heart-breaking exit from the IPL 2022 playoffs berth to LSG by a whisker. He has a decent record in IPL cricket, and in 101 innings, he has scored 2776 runs at an average of 31.55 and a strike rate of 125.38 with 19 half-centuries. Iyer should look to bat at number three for KKR in IPL 2023. The more he is at the crease for KKR, the better chances of him scoring big runs. He can accelerate towards the end of the innings and provide the finishing touches. In IPL 2023, he would have to once again be the true leader KKR would be looking for.

3. Andre Russell

Just the name of Andre Russell is more than enough to send shivers down the spines of bowlers. This giant from the West Indies has on numerous occasions been the match-winner for KKR, tonking those out-of-the-stadium maximums almost effortlessly and at will. He has been the most reliable batter in the middle orders, as well as a handy pace bowler for KKR, in short the perfect all-rounder. However, Russell’s dismissal always wreaks havoc into the KKR camp, as at times his power-hitting prowess backfires at him. In the IPL 2023, Russell will be one of KKR’s massive trump cards to completely run over opponents, and especially aid them in the batting. A strike rate of 177.88 from 82 innings with the bat and a bowling average of 24.48 make for the perfect reading for an all-rounder like Andre Russell in the shortest format.

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