Narine IN, Shakib Out in KKR’s Playing XI


KKR vs CSK, IPL 2021: Sunil Narine set to come back to Kolkata Knight Riders' Playing XI in place of Shakib Al Hasan vs Chennai Super Kings
KKR vs CSK, IPL 2021: Sunil Narine set to come back to Kolkata Knight Riders’ Playing XI in place of Shakib Al Hasan vs Chennai Super Kings

KKR vs CSK, IPL 2021: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have hit a rough patch after winning the first match of IPL 2021. They lost to Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai. Now, Eoin Morgan’s KKR will begin the Mumbai leg with the aim to turn things around. Their first opponent will be MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Wednesday and they will need to make changes to the Playing XI to have any chance. The obvious change in the Playing XI is set to be Sunil Narine’s inclusion, dropping Shakib Al Hasan. Even KKR coach Brendon McCullum hinted at his return.

KKR vs CSK, IPL 2021: Shakib’s form a concern for KKR

While Shakib Al Hasan hasn’t hit the ground running yet. In the first three games, the Bangladeshi all-rounder has scored 3, 9 and a slow 25-ball 26. With the ball, apart from the match against MI, where he scalped a wicket in exchange for just 23 runs in his four overs, he hasn’t been successful. In the last match against RCB, Shakib Al Hasan went for 24 runs in his two overs without any yields.

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  • Shakib gave away 24 runs in two overs against RCB and scored a sluggish 25-ball 26
  • Scored 9 against Mumbai Indians as he failed to give KKR the solidity in the lower middle order
  • Shakib scored only 3 against Sunrisers Hyderabad and returned with 1/34 in 4 overs.

KKR vs CSK, IPL 2021: Sunil Narine IN, Shakib Al Hasan Out in KKR’s Playing XI

Hence, Shakib Al Hasan is set to be dropped in favour of Sunil Narine, who has emerged as an all-rounder in recent years. Considering the turn that was witnessed at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday with Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali bagging five wickets combined, Sunil Narine could be a big weapon in Kolkata Knight Riders’ arsenal.

Last season, Sunil Narine wasn’t at his best. He could only scalp five wickets in 10 matches with an economy rate of 7.94. But with the bat, he was solid at times. He scored at a strike rate of 142.35 and that will give KKR a slight edge. Even coach Brendon McCullum hinted at his return after the match against RCB.

“Sunil Narine stood on the rope before our first game which means he has had an injury where he was not 100 percent fit. He certainly comes into our calculations. He was touch and go for this game against RCB but we opted for Shakib who has been good for us and he gives us an extra bit of batting,” Brendon McCullum said at the post-match press conference against RCB.

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Brendon McCullum said Kolkata Knight Riders will need some fresh legs in the coming match against CSK to rejig the combination and get back to winning ways.

“After three games, the guys have played well, we have not got the results, we probably will need some fresh legs for slightly different wickets in Mumbai. We probably expect to make one or two changes in our next game, but overall, I think, we have shown we have a good chance in this tournament if we tidy up,” Brendon McCullum added.

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