The IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders will face Chennai Super Kings in their first match of the Champions League T20 (CLT0 2014). Kolktata Knight Riders (KKR) have very limited options after the triple-blow of injuries and suspensions. Their three main players aren’t playing in this tournament. Morne Morkel and Chris Lynn have been ruled out due to injuries, whereas star Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is facing a suspension by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
Shakib’s suspension has come as a major blow for KKR. Being a genuine all-rounder, Shakib adds so much more to the team, with his all-round skills. And now, in his absence someone would have to take up this role.
Kolkata Knight Riders have two players to chose from- Jacques Kallis and Andre Russell. Considering Kalli’s form in his last few match and lack of cricket after his retirement, Russell, in my opinion, is a much better option.
As a T20 cricketer, Jacques Kallis has too many limitations. If he plays, he has to bat in the top 3 positions, and he takes his time at the start of the innings, which puts a lot of pressure on the batsmen to come. Andre Russell, on the other hand, is tailor-made for T20 cricket, and his performances in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) this season, speak a lot about his destructive potential as a batsman. Russell is also a brilliant fielder and he’s known for taking crazy catches that can change the course of a match.
With all due respect to the King Kallis, Kolkata Knight Riders shouldn’t pick Jacques Kallis, as he will only disturb the balance of the team.
Playing Kallis just because they have the option of playing 4 foreign players doesn’t make sense. Even in the last season of the IPL, that Kolkata won, Kallis was dropped after the first few matches and it was only after he was dropped that KKR started winning matches. KKR should understand that Jack Kallis, specially after his retirement lacks the pace which is required in T20 cricket, and in a fast tournament like CLT20 2014, he is just a big liability for KKR.
This is the best Playing XI for Kolkata Knight Riders in my opinion:
Robin Uthappa (wk)
Gautam Gambhir (c)
Ryan ten Doeschate
Umesh Yadav/Pat Cummins
by The Cricket Analyst