The cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra has picked his Kolkata Knight Riders’ batting lineup for the initial half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 and named Ajinkya Rahane as an opener in the team.
Shreyas Iyer-led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will begin their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 campaign with the clash against MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on March 26 at the Wankhede Stadium.
Meanwhile, Chopra named Venkatesh Iyer and Rahane as his KKR openers for the first few games as explosive English batter Alex Hales had withdrawn his name from the tournament and his replacement, Aaron Finch, will join the team late. Aakash Chopra elaborated:
“Venkatesh Iyer is a half-a-season wonder till now. After that, he played for India as well, played at a different number and he has done well. But the truth is that there are second-season blues. He might not have that much because he has played for India also in between and he is not a greenhorn if we talk about first-class cricket. So you will expect that his season will still be good.”
“Who will open with him? They had Alex Hales with them, he left. Finch has not come as yet and will not be able to come for three matches because he will be in Pakistan. So you will have to open with someone else. There are options but I feel open with Ajinkya Rahane. He knows all the Mumbai grounds and understands the pitches in Maharashtra.”
Shreyas at No. 3, Nitish at No. 4, No. 5 for Sam Billings – Aakash Chopra
Former Indian opener requested Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Shreyas Iyer to play at No 3. He said:
“At No. 3, Shreyas you come yaar. Don’t send Nitish – you should come because, in my opinion, you will shine at this number. So Shreyas at No. 3, Nitish at No. 4, No. 5 for Sam Billings – fantastic buy, outstanding buy.”
He added that Sam Billings will play ahead of Sheldon Jackson and Andre Russell and Sunil Narine will be the two power-hitters. He said:
“They have two keepers in Sam Billings and Sheldon Jackson, Sam Billings is an overseas player and Sheldon Jackson is Indian. I don’t think you will be able to play Sheldon. So Sam Billings is your first overseas player, and right after him, you can keep Andre Russell and Sunil Narine.”
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