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IPL 2019 | CricViz Analysis: Kolkata Knight Riders

Here is an analysis on the strengths and weaknesses of Kolkata Knight Riders this year.

Freddie Wilde |March 24, 2019, 3:46 PM IST
IPL 2019 | CricViz Analysis: Kolkata Knight Riders

Here is an analysis on the strengths and weaknesses of Kolkata Knight Riders this year.

Strengths: 

Squad structure - KKR have a small squad with a clear structure. Lynn (projected impact +1.52), Russell (+2.36) and Narine (+3.61) are the three frontline overseas players with Ferguson (+1.65), Gurney (+0.35) and Nortje (-0.63) vying for the overseas pace bowling spot.

Powerplay batting strategy - KKR have a very clear batting strategy with Lynn, Narine and Uthappa tasked with maximising the benefits of the Powerplay fielding restrictions. KKR are committed to this strategy: last season no team attacked a higher proportion of balls in the phase than KKR’s 61% and although this contributed to the second lowest Powerplay dismissal rate in the league of 22 balls per wicket it also produced the highest Powerplay run rate of 9.12 runs per over.

Powerplay batting

World Cup call ups - The only KKR player who may have to leave their squad early for World Cup preparation is Lynn and he only remains an outside chance to make the Australia squad. The remaining overseas players are either out of favour with their international team or likely to be permitted to play the entire IPL season.

Spin attack - Narine (projected bowling impact +4.10) is the second highest projected bowler in the league and Kuldeep (+2.42) is the fifth. No team’s best two spinners are as strong as KKR’s. Kolkata also have Chawla (+0.18) to call upon as well. Last season 54% of KKR’s overs were bowled by spinners - the highest proportion of all teams.

Weakness:

Squad depth - KKR’s small squad should help with consistency of selection but if they get injuries to their key overseas players they lack depth. Denly (-1.87) and Brathwaite (-1.01) are poor back-up options for Lynn and Russell. KKR are at least well-stocked in the spin department with Kuldeep (+2.52) and Chawla (+0.18) to take up spin overs in the absence of Narine.

Powerplay bowling - Last season KKR had a major problem taking wickets in the Powerplay with an overall strike rate of 44 balls per wicket in the phase. This season they’ve added three new overseas quicks: Nortje and Ferguson should help remedy the problem but Gurney is a lot stronger in the closing overs.

Indian pace bowling - Last season KKR’s Indian quicks had the third highest bowling economy rate of any set of Indian pace bowlers. This season they have not made any major additions in this department, sticking with the promise of youth with Krishna, Mavi and Nagarkoti, the latter two have already been ruled out of the season by injury. KKR’s overseas quicks will be carrying considerable responsibility.

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