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IPL 2020: Kolkata Knight Riders full squad and predictions after record-breaking auction

Kolkata Knight Riders signed Pat Cummins on a record-breaking IPL deal

Kolkata Knight Riders signed Pat Cummins on a record-breaking IPL deal

Kolkata Knight Riders signed Pat Cummins on a record-breaking IPL deal (Picture: Getty)

Kolkata Knight Riders are bidding to win the Indian Premier League for a third time this year and made their intentions known at the auction with a record-breaking deal for Pat Cummins.

KKR made Australia fast bowler Cummins the most expensive oversees player in history at the auction in December, while also spending big on England duo Eoin Morgan and Tom Banton.

Kolkata, currently coached by former New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman and T20 legend Brendon McCullum, finished just fifth last year but had reached the play-offs for two successive seasons before that.

Following a hugely productive auction, more play-off action surely awaits KKR as they look to lift the IPL title for the third time and first since 2014.



Squad

Coach: Brendon McCullum

Captain: Dinesh Karthik

Retained: Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier, Harry Gurney, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi.

Traded in: Siddhesh Lad.

Signed: Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan, Tom Banton, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, M Siddhartha, Nikhil Naik, Chris Green, Pravin Tambe.

IPL titles: 2 (2012, 2014)

Odds: 5/1



Predictions

Leading run-scorer: Eoin Morgan

In the form of his life, as he showed in England’s recent series wins over Australia and Pakistan. Has never quite delivered in the IPL – failing to score more than one fifty in each of his six appearances – but that will surely change over the next two months.

Leading wicket-taker: Pat Cummins

No reason why he can’t justify his huge and record-breaking price-tag with a string of impressive performances. Can bowl serious gas and has acquired the skills needed to thrive in T20 cricket over the past few years.

Finish: Champions

Kolkata Knight Riders largely disappointed last season but look primed for a serious title challenge following a brilliant auction. They boast one of the best squads ever assembled in T20 cricket and are coached by the dynamic McCullum. They should go very close.

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Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma and Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma and Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni (Picture: Getty)

England all-rounder Sam Curran starred with bat and ball to help Chennai Super Kings defeat Mumbai Indians by five wickets in the opening match of the 2020 Indian Premier League.

Curran took 1-28 from four overs and took two catches as Chennai restricted Mumbai to 162-9, with India batsman Saurabh Tiwary scoring 42 and South Africa opener Quinton de Kock smashing 33 off 20 balls.

Proteas captain Faf du Plessis led Chennai’s chase with an unbeaten 58 and Curran blasted 18 off six balls as the Super Kings won with four balls remaining.

Chennai were beaten by Mumbai in last year’s IPL final and captain Dhoni said: ‘There are plenty of positives but still of areas we need to improve.

‘Rayudu had a wonderful partnership with Faf. The experience pays off, everyone talks about it. You need a good mix of youngsters and experienced players.’

IPL 2020 is taking place in Dubai – some six months after it was due to start – because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Dhoni, who announced his retirement from international cricket last month, added: ‘It is an amazing job done by the IPL, especially ones behind the scenes.

‘To make it happen there are a hundred different things. To have the practice facilities like these at the ICC academy is fantastic.’

India batsman Sharma, who led Mumbai to the title last year but suffered defeat in the IPL 2020 opener, said: ‘None of our batsmen carried on like Faf and Rayudu did for CSK.

‘I think we made 85 in the first ten overs but credit to the CSK bowlers, they bowled well at the end to pull things back. That’s something for us to learn.

‘It’s still early days. We all want to start really well, it’s crucial in this tournament where momentum is important.

‘We did make a few mistakes but hopefully we’ll rectify those and come out smarter in the next game.’

Curran, meanwhile, admitted he was surprised at being promoted up Chennai’s batting order but grateful for the opportunity and pleased to contribute to a win.

‘It was a six or out mentality so that’s how you have got to play this game,’ said Curran.

‘To be honest, I was very surprised I went in but he’s a genius and he obviously thought something. But a great win in the end and a great start.’

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Kings XI Punjab were wrongly penalised during their IPL defeat to Delhi Capitals

Kings XI Punjab were wrongly penalised during their IPL defeat to Delhi Capitals (Picture: Sky Sports)

Kings XI Punjab have lodged an appeal after an erroneous line call ‘cost them the game’ against Indian Premier League rivals Delhi Capitals.

Umpire Nitin Menon signalled a one-run short against England all-rounder Chris Jordan in the 19th over as Kings XI Punjab chased Delhi’s 157-8 in Dubai on Sunday.

TV replays showed Jordan had in fact made his ground, however, and current ICC and IPL regulations prevented the officials from checking the decision with the third umpire.

Kings XI Punjab proceeded to lose two wickets from the final two balls of their innings as they too finished on 157-8.

In the subsequent super over, Kings XI lost their two wickets in two balls for just two runs – South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada doing the damage – before Delhi clinched a dramatic win.

Kings XI Punjab CEO Satish Menon told PTI: ‘We have appealed to the match referee. While a human error can happen and we understand that, there is no room for human errors like these in a world-class tournament like the IPL.

‘This one could cost us a play-off berth. A loss of a game is a loss of a game. It is unfair. I hope the rules are reviewed so that there is no margin for human error.’

Kings XI made a superb start with the ball, reducing Delhi to 13-3 in the powerplay and then 96-6, with Mohammed Shami taking three wickets and Sheldon Cottrell taking two.

A brilliant and destructive 20-ball half-century from Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis saw Delhi score 30 from the final over, however, and post a competitive score of 157-8.

Mayank Agarwal appeared to be taking Kings XI to victory with a 60-ball 89 but both he and Jordan were dismissed in the final over with just one run required for victory.

Delhi Capitals dominated the super over to make a winning start to their 2020 IPL campaign and condemn Kings XI Punjab to a disappointing defeat.

Ricky Ponting’s Delhi reached the play-offs at last year’s Indian Premier League, while Kings XI Punjab finished sixth.

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