Kolkata Knight Riders, the two-time former champions, will be hoping to add another trophy to their cabinet in the IPL 2024 and here's KKR best playing XI. KKR are the third most successful franchise in the Indian Premier League but it's been nearly a decade since they last won a title.
The captain who gave the Knight Riders two titles, Gautam Gambhir is back with the franchise as a mentor. In the recent auction, they had INR 32.50 crore to plug the holes in the side but they spent most of it on making Mitchell Starc the most expensive player in the history of the league. Chetan Sakariya, KS Bharat, Sherfane Rutherford, Gus Atkinson, Ramandeep Singh and Manish Pandey were some of the other notable names KKR bought in the auction.
After missing the previous season, Shreyas Iyer is set to lead the Knight Riders in the upcoming edition. There are multiple combinations the Knight Riders could structure the side. Of those, we take a look at the best playing XI of KKR for the IPL 2024.
- 1 KKR best playing XI in IPL 2024
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Full squad for IPL 2024
Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Jason Roy, Sunil Narine, Suyash Sharma, Anukul Roy, Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer, Harshit Rana, Vaibhav Arora, Varun Chakaravarthy, KS Bharat (wk), Chetan Sakariya, Mitchell Starc, Angkrish Raghuvanshi, Ramandeep Singh, Sherfane Rutherford, Manish Pandey, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Gus Atkinson, Sakib Hussain
KKR best playing XI in IPL 2024
1. Jason Roy
Jason Roy may have played his last game for England but he remains one of the best T20 batters in the game. He joined KKR midway in the tournament last season and smashed 287 runs at an average of 36 while striking at 152. Roy is amongst the best hitters of high pace and compliments the rest of the batting line-up well.
His alternative is Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who is also a wicket-keeper and gives more flexibility to the side. But keeping Roy out of the XI will be hard.
2. Venkatesh Iyer
Venkatesh Iyer was fast-tracked to the Indian side as an all-rounder after his debut season in 2021. But his bowling hasn't developed and plays mostly as a specialist batter. The left-hander had a poor IPL 2022 but did well in the previous season, where he scored 404 runs at an average of 29 and a strike rate of 146 and is in KKR best playing XI.
3. Shreyas Iyer (captain)
Shreyas Iyer will be back leading the KKR side after missing the last season due to an injury. He is a solid fit at number three and can anchor the innings well. Shreyas scored 401 runs in the 2022 edition of the tournament, averaging 31 at a strike rate of 134 and will lead the KKR best playing XI.
4. Nitish Rana
The stand-in skipper of the Knight Riders in the previous season, Nitish Rana did such a good job that some fans wanted him to be the regular captain for IPL 2024. He was superb with the bat as well, scoring 413 runs at an average of 32 while striking at 141.
5. Rinku Singh
Rinku Singh has had a rapid rise at the top level and is now a strong contender to be in India's side for the T20 World Cup. His composure has been impressive and so is his ability to smash any type of bowlers. Rinku had an incredible campaign in the IPL 2023, amassing 474 runs at an average of 59 while striking at nearly 150.
6. KS Bharat (wk)
Srikar Bharat only played two games for Delhi Capitals last season. In IPL 2022, he made 191 runs in six innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore. He is not known to be an explosive batter but if KKR want to play Jason Roy, they must include Bharat. The alternative is to have Rahmanullah Gurbaz as keeper and all-rounder Ramandeep Singh in the lower middle order.
7. Andre Russell
Andre Russell has been the backbone of Kolkata Knight Riders for nearly a decade. They have not given up on him even when the numbers have dipped in the last few years. Except 2022, Russell has had three poor seasons in the last four. KKR will need a better performance from him but still makes it to KKR best playing XI.
8. Sunil Narine
Much like Russell, the other KKR legend Sunil Narine’s numbers in the last few years have not been good enough. However, the Eden Gardens has produced slower and gripping pitches recently, which will make Narine a big threat to the opponents in the IPL 2024.
9. Mitchell Starc
Kolkata Knight Riders splashed INR 24.75 crore to acquire the services of Mitchell Starc. The Australian fast bowler has not played in the IPL since 2017 nor much T20 cricket in recent times. But Starc will still be the leader of the KKR attack in the IPL 2024. He has the attributes, such as pace and swing, to do well in the format despite not much game-time.
10. Harshit Rana
The Knight Riders do not have any proven Indian pacer so they will have to rely on the likes of Harshit Rana, Vaibhav Arora and Chetan Sakariya. Rana, the 22-yr old Delhi pacer seems to be the best of the lot as he has good pace and showed some promise in the previous season.
11. Varun Chakravarthy
Varun Chakravarthy has been a key bowler for KKR in the last couple of years. The mystery bowler is arguably their premier spinner with Narine in the twilight of his career. In the previous IPL season, he picked 20 wickets at an economy of 8.15. The high economy is understandable, considering half of his overs were in the powerplay and death overs and will surely be in KKR best playing XI.
Suyash Sharma (Impact Player)
The 20-yr old leg-spin sensation did an excellent job for the Knight Riders in the last season. He was used as an Impact Player sub and picked 10 wickets at an economy of 8.23, with best figures of 3 for 30. In the 2023 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Suyash snared 12 scalps from four games at 4.75 runs per over.