IPL 2020: What does Kolkata Knight Riders' strongest XI look like?

IPL: The signing of Englishman Tom Banton for the No. 3 position could prove to be the difference for KKR this season.

England opener Tom Banton   -  Getty Images

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) squad is among the most flamboyant in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), but how can it translate it into success?

Most of the members from last year’s XI will remain automatic picks this year, with Sunil Narine and Shubman Gill continuing as the opening pair. KKR has struggled in the past to find regular boundaries after the PowerPlay overs, which meant Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell were often tasked with upping the rate in the middle order.

FOLLOW | IPL 2020 COVERAGE

The signing of Englishman Tom Banton for the No. 3 position could prove to be the difference this season. Banton is a 360-degree batsman and has a career Twenty20 strike rate of 154.16 across domestic leagues.

Nitish Rana has been a consistent performer with the bat in the last three seasons and can be an option with the ball with his off-spin. In Karthik and Russell, KKR has the best finishers in the league, and Rahul Tripathi will likely be the extra batsman in the side.

Fast bowler Pat Cummins, the most expensive signing of last year’s auction, will add depth to the bowling lineup. However, Cummins' form was indifferent during the recent One-Day series against England where he picked three wickets in as many games at an average of 61.0. Kuldeep Yadav and Narine will be the primary spin options, while Prasidh Krishna and the untested Kamlesh Nagarkoti will complete the pace department.

Ali Khan, who signed up for KKR last week after playing a starring role in Trinbago Knight Riders’ Caribbean Premier League triumph, could be the wildcard in the squad. The USA’s Khan is an express pace bowler who can regularly hit the yorker length.

Strongest XI

1. Sunil Narine (Overseas)

2. Shubman Gill

3. Tom Banton (Overseas)

4. Nitish Rana

5. Dinesh Karthik (C & Wk)

6. Rahul Tripathi

7. Andre Russell (Overseas)

8. Pat Cummins (Overseas)

9. Kuldeep Yadav

10. Prasidh Krishna

11. Kamlesh Nagarkoti

Wildcard: Ali Khan

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