IPLIPL 2022Opinion

IPL 2022: 3 Changes KKR Need To Make If They Want To Reach Play-Offs

KKR need to make some changes to qualify for the play-offs of IPL 2022.

The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) started their IPL 2022 campaign with a comfortable victory over CSK but then lost a closely fought encounter against RCB. And while head coach Brendon McCullum is pleased with his side’s approach even in their loss, there are some concerns in both the batting and bowling departments.

KKR have a decent bench strength and they will have to make some changes in their eleven should they wish to reach the playoffs. It is also to note that they will have both Aaron Finch and Pat Cummins available from April 6th only, meaning the Aussie duo will be missing another match.

Here are 3 changes that KKR need to make to further strengthen their side:

 

Aaron Finch for Ajinkya Rahane

Although Ajinkya Rahane showed good intent in the first match against CSK, scoring 44 off 34 balls, head coach McCullum would want his batsmen to bat at a better strike rate than Rahane’s 129 in that innings; he followed it up with a scratchy 10-ball 9 against RCB, and perhaps the clock is ticking on Rahane’s place in the eleven and could be replaced as soon as Finch is available.

Aaron finch

Having led Australia to their maiden T20 World Cup title recently, Finch understands the shortest format better than many and would also be a follower of McCullum’s philosophy of batting freely.

A fast bowler for Sam Billings

KKR looked really thin in their death bowling department in both the games; a 40-year-old MS Dhoni took apart Mavi and Russell while they lost the plot against RCB in the last two overs, bowled by Venkatesh Iyer and Russell.

While Cummins will be available after another game, KKR have Sri Lanka’s Chamika Karunaratne on the bench who could replace Sam Billings. With Sheldon Jackson doing stunning wicket-keeping, Billings is only playing as a batter and hasn’t really set the IPL on fire.

sam billings kkr ipl 2022
Image source: IPLT20.com

Russell looked in physical struggle as well towards the end of the game against RCB and it is unlikely that he will bowl his four overs going forward. Chamika Karunaratne has a good mix of variations and can also tonk the ball hard. KKR look thin on their death bowling department, even when Cummins is available.

Mohammad Nabi for Sam Billings

With Andre Russell scraping around in the field and unfit, apparently, to bowl his full quota of four overs, Mohammad Nabi could be a good inclusion in the line-up replacing Sam Billings.

Also, as the tournament progresses, the spinners will come into the game more, and Nabi has proven his credentials around the world as a proper all-rounder. Nabi replacing Billings will not hurt KKR’s batting and will increase the bowling options for the captain.

Jatin Khandelwal

Hi, I am Jatin Khandelwal. Cricket writing came accidentally for me with an undergrad engineering degree. With opportunities first as a freelancer and then full-time, and experience with time, I have grown in the role. The Cricket Lounge is a place where I can thrive with the best of my abilities.

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