IPL: Can Kolkata Knight Riders win their third title this season?

(Cricket news) For KKR the season has been of two halves, in the first leg of the IPL in March,  KKR  weren’t being able to manage a victory even with match winners like Russell and Cummins but in the second half of season their fortunes turned for the brave as the team started to play together and not depend upon individual brilliance.

Kolkata Knight Riders finished the group stage in fourth position with 14 points and will face Royal Challengers in the eliminator on Monday. This season the star performers have been the Indian domestic players as their leading run getter and wicket taker have been Indians, Varun Chakravarthy has picked up 16 wickets whereas Rahul Tripathi has scored 377 runs. The foregin players have gelled in with the squad quite well, there was a doubt that Pat Cummins was going to be a big miss but the likes of Lockie Ferguson and Tim Southee haven’t let that happen.

The star performer and probably the find of the tournament has been Venkatesh Iyer, initially in the first half of the tournament KKR were struggling to find a suitable opening batsman alongside Shubham Gill as Venkatesh Iyer fitted the role seamlessly. It is not only his batting that has caught the selectors eye but also his part time fast bowling is quite effective as well. This season he has been the added impetus for KKR to qualify for the playoffs and just might turn into a game changer not for KKR but also for the Indian team in the future. This season in just 7 matches he has managed to score 239 runs at a strike rate of 130 along with that he has also picked up 3 wickets at an economy rate of 8.53 rpo.

Also read: Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore looking for their first trophy in Indian Premier League

The concern heading into the playoffs might be the fitness of Andre Russell and the inconsistency of Eoin Morgan as he hasn’t found the form he usually displays for his National team. The things that have worked in favour of KKR are the subtle gambles that Brendon McCullum has taken, he firstly went with a very inexperienced top 4 four but that gamble has completely changed the dynamics of the team as KKR this season are the highest scoring team from overs 7 to 15, what this does is that the experienced guys in the form of Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell finish the innings for them. Secondly his strategy punt of bowling at least two overs of spin in the powerplay has also paid off as Sunil Narine and Chakravarthy have been the most economical spinners this second half of the season,

With the tournament heading into the final few matches, KKR do stand a chance of winning their third IPL crown considering their form and fearless brand of cricket, but they need to do it the hard way by winning three matches in row to bring the trophy back to the ‘city of joy’.


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