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Aakash Chopra, former Indian opener-turned commentator, recently picked his possible playing XI that Kolkata Knight Riders might field in the upcoming edition of the IPL.

The former opener picked off-spin Sunil Narine and young Indian talent Shubman Gill as the two openers. Sunil Narine is a coming off a brilliant campaign in the Caribbean Premier League where he spearheaded TKR’s campaign with both bat and ball.

Aakash Chopra, KKR
Andre Russell and Shubman Gill (Photo-Twitter)

Shubman Gill had a good season last year as an opener and Chopra feels that talented youngsters should be given enough opportunities at the top of the order.

“I am picking Sunil Narine at No.1. He is a very good player, he opens and hits a lot. He did amazingly well in all the matches in the CPL. He will do well in batting and he is a terrific bowler anyway.” Chopra said on his official Youtube channel as quoted by Sportskeeda

“I want to have Shubman Gill opening with Sunil Narine. Some of the cricketers of his age like Prithvi Shaw and Haider Ali are playing for their countries, so he should also be given opportunities.”

Aakash Chopra Picks His Kolkata Knight Riders Starting XI Ahead Of IPL 2020
Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell [Photo-Getty]
Aakash Chopra went in with southpaw Nitish Rana at the No.3 spot followed by skipper Dinesh Karthik, who the former opener thinks should bat at No.4 if he has to give himself the best possible chance to push his credentials for the wicket-keeper spot in the Indian T20 side.

“At No.3, I want to play Nitish Rana. He will provide another left-handed option. At No.4 is the captain Dinesh Karthik. I will advice him to bat at No.4 if he wants to push Pant and Rahul for the wicket-keeper’s spot, now that Dhoni is not there, as he will need a couple of good IPLs.”

Eoin Morgan, England’s World Cup-winning skipper will bat at the No.5 spot in Aakash Chopra’s playing XI. As far as Andre Russell is concerned, Chopra reckoned that the swashbuckling batsman should come in to bat when around 7-8 overs are left in the innings.

“At No.5 I have Eoin Morgan. He is the England captain and is coming after playing some quickfire knocks. He will be another left-hander in their batting lineup.”

”At No.6, I have got Andre Russell. He can come up the order as well. He should be sent when around 40 deliveries are left in the innings. Kolkata Knight Riders are almost on par with Mumbai Indians when it comes to finishing.

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Aakash Chopra picks KKR’s ideal bowling attack

Chopra reckoned that KKR has a sight issue at the No.7 spot as none of Rinku Singh, Siddhesh Lad or Rahul Tripathi are suited for the position.

”At No.7, they have a slight problem. They can play Rinku Singh, Siddhesh Lad or Rahul Tripathi but none of them is a No.7 batsman.”

Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav (Credits: BCCI/IPL)

As far as bowling is concerned, Aakash Chopra went on to pick Kuldeep Yadav as Suni Narine’s spin-bowling partner. Chopra reckoned that Kuldeep will have a brilliant season this year.

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins. (Credits: BCCI)

Pat Cummins was the obvious choice in the seamer’s department. Apart from Cummins, Chopra picked Prasidh Krishna as KKR’s death bowling option while the third seamer slot according to him could go to either of Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, or Sandeep Warrior.

“At No.8, I have got Pat Cummins. He was the most expensive pick at the auctions and he also bats well. At No.9, I have got Kuldeep Yadav. You can take it in writing from me that this year he will do well in the IPL. He can be a little expensive at times but he will be a match-winner.”

“At No.10, you will definitely play Prasidh Krishna. He can prove to be expensive at times, so they will have death-bowling problems. At No.11, I am giving three options – Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Sandeep Warrier”

KKR will kick off their IPL 2020 campaign on September 23 when they lock horns with perennial nemesis and defending champions, Mumbai Indians, at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Dubai.

 

Aakash Chopra’s probable KKR XI for IPL 2020:

Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik [C & WK], Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Rahul Tripathi/Siddhesh Lad/Rinku Singh, Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Kamlesh Nagarkoti/Shivam Mavi/Sandeep Warrior

Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.