KKR Playing XI: Ferguson likely to play

KKR have both quality and confusion all round.

Losing their marquee signing, Pat Cummins, is a blow for Kolkata Knight Riders. Apart from his bowling on fresh UAE pitches, KKR would miss his lower-order batting as well. Tim Southee, his replacement, is fine exponent of swing bowling though. (RCB Playing XI)

Andre Russell is another allrounder in the team and on most occasions, KKR’s success is directly proportional to the Jamaican’s fiery hitting.

KKR have both quality and confusion all round. Someday Nitish Rana is their opener, along with Subhman Gill… Next day Rahul Tripathi comes at the top, while at times Sunil Narine opens the innings as a pinch-hitter. Using Narine as an opener in Abu Dhabi, where the pitch is usually spicy for the first few overs, could be asking for trouble.

For Gill, this is a tournament of atonement. The young opener’s England tour got nipped in the bud due to a leg injury. This is a different format, but Gill would like to hit his starps. His obvious talent notwithstanding, Gill’s impact knocks in the IPL have been few and far between.

Ever since Narine’s action has been put under the scanner, the spinner sort of lost his mystery. He still remains a very steady bowler sans the match-winning edge. The mantle has been passed to Varun Chakravarthy for whom the second phase of the IPL is a dress rehearsal of the T20 World Cup next month.

Eoin Morgan is fine leader, but can he make his team thrive on team effort? To start with, the skipper is expected to unleash Lockie Ferguson’s pace in seam-friendly conditions.

Likely XI: Subhman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna

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