IPL 2021 is unique as compared to all the other previous seasons. The 14th edition of IPL is being played at neutral venues. This factor nullifies the advantage of home teams and players. The players will be severely tested and only the best will come out trumps.
Kolkata Knight Riders are searching for their 3rd IPL title. Eoin Morgan will be their full-time captain this season. The additions of Shakib Al Hasan, Harbhajan Singh, and Ben Cutting might prove to be decisive. As an interesting observation, we look at the playmakers and the also runs in the KKR squad.
StumpsandBails brings to you whom we believe will be the Studs and Duds of KKR in IPL 2021:
#3 Nitish Rana
Nitish Rana is one of the most underrated players in IPL. He played a key role in Mumbai Indians’ resurgence in IPL. KKR picked Rana in 2018 auctions. He has come into his own especially in the last two seasons. Rana is an attacking player against both pace and spin. IPL 2021 might just be his breakthrough year.
#2 Varun Chakravarthy
Varun Chakravarthy was one of the finds of the IPL last year. He even found a spot in India’s T20 squad that was supposed to tour Australia. Chakravarthy, unfortunately, suffered an injury and couldn’t make to it the team. He will be looking at this season to further cement his place as a frontline spinner. Varun Chakravarthy is a difficult bowler to get away. If he maintains his fitness another rollicking IPL season lays in front of him.
#1 Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill was one of India’s success stories during their series win down under. He is high on confidence and will be eager to take on the opener’s mantle. Gill admitted that his strike rate wasn’t up to the mark last season. He believes that his strike rate is a work in progress and he will come out all guns blazing this season.
#3 Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Kamlesh Nagarkoti was one of the finds of the U-19 World Cup 2018. He had the raw pace to compliment his aggressive fast bowling. Dinesh Karthik had even touted Nagarkoti as India’s best fielder along with Ravindra Jadeja. But injuries and a dip in form have seen Nagarkoti being pushed on the sidelines. He played 10 games last season picking up 5 wickets. Nagarkoti never looked threatening in any game. He is looking at a tough year ahead.
#2 Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav has had forgettable last 2 years. Ever since Moeen Ali took him apart in IPL 2019, Yadav has struggled for form and rhythm. He was dropped from the KKR setup in IPL 2020. This dented his confidence further. Ben Stokes took Yadav to cleaners in the 2nd ODI at Pune recently. He is woefully short on confidence and might even be released by KKR ahead of the next season.
#1 Sunil Narine
There is no mystery left in mystery spinner Sunil Narine. The two-time IPL MVP Sunil Narine is no longer a force in the IPL. He was in fact relegated to the bench in the first game against SRH. Narine’s batting in the powerplay has also been found out by the opposition. He has struggled against quality pace. This has made Narine a liability who was once an asset to the team.