The 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) is around the corner and the teams have started formulating their penultimate plans.
KKR bought four overseas players at the auctions, three of who will be the players to watch out for KKR this season. Kolkata also recorded the highest bid in the IPL 2020 auction as they bought Pat Cummins for 15.50 crores. In the process, Cummins became the costliest overseas player ever to play in the IPL. Something which is very evident from the KKR squad is that their future in the upcoming season heavily rests on the shoulders of their overseas players and the way they play will define KKR’s journey in the tournament.
We take a look at 5 KKR players who can produce game-changing impact in the 13th edition of the IPL and guide them to their 3rd IPL title.
Andre Russel (Impact Rank- #2)
Winner of the ‘Most Valuable Player’ award in 2015 and 2019, Andre Russell has become one of the legends of T20 cricket. He has set the standards so high that bowlers feel relieved if Russell is not able to whack them at least 30 rows back. And, quite naturally, he has the highest strike rate – 186.41 – in IPL history.
Russell’s hitting prowess even made Karthik and coach Kallis promote him up the order in the last IPL. He was highly instrumental in KKR winning 4 out of the first 5 matches last season before a shoulder injury hampered his performance.
Sunil Narine (Impact Rank- #41)
After turning heads with his mystery bowling for Trinidad and Tobago at the 2011 Champions League, Sunil Narine made his debut in IPL 2012 as the league’s first-ever ‘mystery spinner’.
He took the world’s most expensive league Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) by storm in his very first season, taking 24 wickets in 15 matches, just one wicket less than Purple Cap winner Morne Morkel.
Narine sprung another mystery when Gautam Gambhir sacrificed his opening slot and decided to experiment opening the batting with Narine in a match in the 2017 season.
Of Narine’s 771 IPL career runs, 724 have come opening the batting for the Knight Riders in the previous three seasons.
And, those runs have come at a decent pace for Narine has the second-highest strike rate – 168.34 – in IPL history. Among his many cameos at the top of the order, the one that is a part of folklore now is the carnage he and Chris Lynn wreaked on RCB in 2017.
The duo scripted history by putting up 105 runs in the first six overs, including a 15-ball half century by Sunil Narine, who was the ‘Most Valuable Player’ in 2012 and 2018.
Eoin morgan (Impact Rank- N/A)
Eoin Morgan’s services were bought by the KKR franchise for 5.25 crores ahead of IPL 2020.
Morgan would be the perfect backup for Dinesh Karthik, who will continue to lead KKR in IPL 2020. His recent World Cup win with England got him into an elite list of captains who have won the trophy for their respective teams.
With Karthik, Russell, Morgan and Narine there is enough experience in the KKR team which they can make full use of in the upcoming season. Morgan was a part of Kolkata squad between 2011 to 2015 and his return will certainly boost the Kolkata fans after they saw their team have a forgetful IPL season.
Shubhman Gill (Impact Rank- #30)
Heralded as a batting prodigy by pundits, Shubman Gill first came to people’s notice when he won the player of the tournament at the U-19 World Cup in 2018.
He was immediately drafted into the KKR side for IPL 2018. Batting lower down the order, Gill scored 203 runs in 13 matches at a strike rate of 146.04.
In the 2019 IPL season, KKR management decided to make Gill bat at number three and even open the innings sometimes with Chris Lynn in the second half of the tournament last year. Gill finished IPL 2019 scoring 296 runs in 14 matches at an average of 32.88.
Chris Lynn is no longer a part of the Kolkata side. Opening the innings with Narine, Gill can play with more authority and maturity and play an anchor role, with Narine going full throttle at the other end.
Pat Cummins (Impact Rank- N/A)
Cummins became the costliest overseas player in IPL history after he was bought in for 15.50 crores by KKR. He was a part of the squad which won its second IPL title in 2014.
Since then, he has not featured regularly in the IPL apart from playing couple of seasons for Delhi Capitals. Like Morgan, Cummins is also back home and will lead the bowling attack for his side. 2
017 was his most successful IPL season with Delhi Capitals where he picked up 17 wickets from 16 games. He is now among the best bowlers in international cricket in all formats and KKR would hope to get the best and the most out of Cummins when he takes the field for his side. He will certainly be one of the bowlers to watch out for in this IPL season.
Impact Rank is a methodology devised by Insidesport Moneyball to rate players on the basis of their performance impact on the match in all aspects – batting, bowling, fielding – of the game. The Impact Rank takes into consideration runs scored, wickets and catch taken as well as stumping and run-outs executed by a player.
IMPACT POINTS CALCULATION
Impact points are arrived at by applying a formula for performance evaluation. Players earn one point for each run scored, 10 points are allocated for each wicket, while catch, stumping and run-out add three points to a players IMPACT RANK
Value for Money rankings is derived by dividing a players’ annual salary with his IMPACT POINTS. In simple terms, the gross annual salary of the player is divided by the impact points to arrive at his VALUE FOR MONEY RANK. Players with the lowest amount spent for each impact point gets ranking higher up the order.