With IPL 2018 being just a few weeks away, anticipation amongst the fans is growing as they want to know who is going to win. Kolkata Knight Riders with two IPL titles is one of the most successful franchises in the history of IPL. The core was really strong and they were the most balanced and the strongest team in the IPL until now. Some big names will be missing from KKR’s squad this season, like the former captain Gautam Gambhir, but they managed to grab the hold of some big T20 international stars like Chris Lynn, Kuldeep Yadav, Andre Russell, Sunil Naraine and Mitchell Starc in their squad in order to make up for the loss of their core but in certain areas they seem lacking in depth and quality. Dinesh Karthik was named the new captain of KKR squad in the IPL 2018. In this post, let’s look at the reasons why Kolkata Knight Riders might not win the IPL 2018 title.
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5. Inexperienced Captain
With two IPL titles, Kolkata Knight Riders are one of the most successful sides in the Indian Premier League. Gautam Gambhir led the team both times and has been one of the most successful captains and most consistent batsman in the history of the IPL cricket. But for this season, Gambhir was not retained by the KKR authorities and instead the 32-year wicket-keeper/Batsman Dinesh Karthik who was bought for Rs 7.4 Cr will be leading the KKR squad in his absence. Overall, Karthik has some experience of captaincy before in the Ranji Trophy Tamil Nadu’s team and in some other domestic tournaments but never on the International team with international players. So, this lack of captaincy experience could hurt KKR badly and could be the biggest reason if KKR couldn’t win. His under pressure Decision-making skills will determine KKR’s future in the IPL 2018.
4. Lack of experience in the Batting line-up
This year’s auction has been disastrous for KKR’s batting line-up, as they failed to retain many experienced players like Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan, and Manish Pandey. Good batting line-up is a must have for every team but KKR failed to buy experienced Indian batsman in the auctions instead they relied on the young talent. Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa and Chris Lynn are the only Batsman in KKR squad to have played the International Cricket. They bought Nitish Rana, Ishank Jaggi, Rinku Singh and Apoorv Wankhede but with no International experience doesn’t exactly a replacement for the star players they lost. This will definitely be a reason to worry for KKR.
3. Weak Bench Strength
IPL is a long tournament where every team has to play 14 league games in a span of six weeks and considering injuries are common, the strong bench strength will be contributing factor behind the success of any team.
For the IPL 2018, Kolkata Knight Riders are representing with only 19 players in their squad, while the other teams like CSK, Mumbai Indians, Delhi Daredevils, Sunrisers Hyderabad has as much as 25 players for the tournament making KKR the lightest squad of the IPL 2018. Out of the 19 players in their squad, only 11 has the experience of international level. It is going to be a long season, injuries are common and an even a minor injury to their experienced player slims their chances of winning as they don’t have the proper replacement. They should’ve spent their money adding sufficient strength to their squad instead of buying only a few big names. Lack of bench strength is going to haunt KKR for sure.
2. Injury-prone Players
One thing KKR managed to get right is their purchase of two of the most destructive and talented players in the T20 format, one with his skills with bat and the other with the ball, Chris Lynn and Mitchell Starc are the match winners and possess the ability to destroy any team. But good things come at a cost, although their talent and expertise criteria are huge, their fitness is a huge area of concern throughout their career. In the last season, Lynn was performing brilliantly for KKR until the first half but couldn’t play in the second half of the tournament because of the injuries. Same goes for the Mitchell Stark, he may be the most lethal bowler in this short format of cricket but he is very injury prone. He performed exceptionally for RCB in the IPL 2016 but did not play in the IPL 2017 because of Guess, what? Injuries. And without the proper replacement for these 2 big stars, it was a huge gamble investing tons of money on these two and could haunt KKR franchise later.
1. Comeback of Star Andre Russell after a Ban
West Indian star player Andre Russell is arguably the best All-rounder in T20 cricket. For years, Andre Russell has played for different T20 franchises all around the world and proved his uncanny talent everywhere. However, the West Indian all-rounder was banned for one year from cricket for a doping violation. After his ban ended on January 30, Kolkata Knight Riders retained his services for IPL 2018 for a huge amount of money.
Russell will be playing at the highest level of cricket after 18 months and his recent form will be depending on many different factors. He is out of the play for so long and he is lacking match sharpness at the moment and it will be really hard to reprise the previous form that made him one of the best T20 player in the world. A good form of him will definitely be a bargain done right but if not KKR is in trouble.
What do you guys think about our post? Off course, this is only our point of view, if you guys think otherwise or if you have any query you can ask us anything in the comment box and we will get back to you as soon as possible. The brand new theme song for IPL 2018 has been released, did you guys checked it out already? Stay tuned with us for the latest updates on the VIVO IPL 2018, IPL 2018 schedule, IPL 2018timetablee and everything new about the upcoming edition of the most grandest cricketing league in the world the Indian Premier League.