Kolkata Knight Riders will want to return to winning ways after an embarrassing defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last game. There are problems aplenty in KKR’s playing XI. Be it finding replacement for Sunil Narine, or hope that Andre Russell returns from injury; KKR will have to find a solution fast.
They need to field a playing XI which can take on the explosive batting line-up and lethal death bowling of Mumbai Indians on Friday in Abu Dhabi.
Here are the three big problems “KKR will have to solve to win against Mumbai Indians”
Problem 1: Sunil Narine likely to miss MI clash
For KKR, questions remain as to whether their key spinner Sunil Narine, who has been once reported for suspect bowling action, will play or not. He had missed the game against RCB even as KKR hoped for an “early resolution” to the issues surrounding his controversial action.
The KKR allrounder is currently working hard to do course correction on his bowling action. Englishman Carl Crowe was the go-to-man for KKR spinner after being called for a suspect action in 2014. And now with on-field umpires reporting him, Narine has again fallen back on Crowe to help rework his action for the remaining games of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
It is likely that Narine might miss another game. It would be interesting to see who comes in for KKR this time. They might go for Tom Banton again.
Problem 2: Andre Russell injury
KKR’s concern would be if their best all-rounder will be available or not. Russell had injured his knee against Kings XI Punjab while attempting to save a boundary. KKR captain Dinesh Karthik had given an update on the Windies player’s injury in the post-match conference.
“Whenever Russell gets injured, you know it is hard. He is a very special player, he is a very special person. We need to go and look at him”.
Russell had an excellent Caribbean Premier League for Jamaica Tallawahs. In 8 innings, the hard-hitting Jamaican scored 222 runs at a strike-rate of 141.40, with three half-centuries in the process. He maintained an average of 44.40 and struck 16 sixes in all. However, he has not been able to reciprocate the same performance in IPL.
In 7 matches, he has managed only 73 runs, with an average of 11.83 runs per match. KKR would be hoping that Russell gets fit soon and returns to form before the playoffs.
Problem 3: Pat Cummins- KKR’s million-dollar flop
The Australian pacer emerged as the top buy in IPL 2020 auction as he was sold to Kolkata Knight Riders for whopping Rs 15.5 crore. However, Cummins has failed to live up to the franchise’s expectations. In his first game of the IPL 2020, the 27-year-old went for 49 runs in three overs against Mumbai Indians and was even thrashed for his dreadful performance by fans.
Overall, Cummins has bowled 156 delivers in IPL 2020 so far and he has managed to bag just two wickets. Pat has been poor with the bat as well, as he has scored mere 73 runs in seven games. His return to form will be important to help KKR solve its middle-order woes.