One of the most glaring problems of Shreyas Iyer’s Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 was their opening combination. KKR started with Venkatesh Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane as their opening combination but the duo failed to get KKR off to fiery starts in the powerplay.
KKR also brought in Aaron Finch at the top but Finch had a mediocre IPL 2022 as he mustered 86 runs in 5 matches. Both Ajinkya Rahane and Aaron Finch were released by KKR ahead of the IPL 2023 auctions. But KKR has made some smart picks during the trading window and the IPL 2023 auction. The Purple and Gold Brigade has secured the services of Rahmanullah Gurbaz (traded in from Gujarat Titans), Narayan Jagadeesan, and Litton Das. All of these cricketers are potential openers of KKR.
In this article, we take a look at 3 opening combinations which KKR can try in the upcoming IPL 2023:
1. Venkatesh Iyer and Rahmanullah Gurbaz
The first-choice opening combination looks like this. Both the openers in the form of Venkatesh Iyer and Rahmanullah Gurbaz are fiery openers and can power KKR to formidable starts in the power-play. The Afghani wicket-keeper batter recently bagged the “Innovative player” award in the Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2022. Gurbaz has so far played 35 T20Is for Afghanistan and has amassed 896 runs for them.
2. Venkatesh Iyer and Litton Das
If KKR want Litton Das in the team, then they would have to sacrifice Narayan Jagadeesan and Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s spot in the team. Litton Das is a swashbuckling opener who also tends to have class in a few of his shots. He gave Bangladesh a rollicking start in their match against India in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022. Das scored a quickfire knock of 60 (27) and was unfortunately run out in the game. The combination of Venkatesh Iyer and Litton Das could well be a game-changing combination for the 2-time IPL champions.
3. Venkatesh Iyer and Narayan Jagadeesan
An all-India opening combination in the form of Venkatesh Iyer and Narayan Jagadeesan could also be a good opening combination for Shreyas Iyer’s KKR. Both these Indian players are quite experienced in the domestic set-up of India and know the pitches in India, inside out. Jagadeesan recently smashed 277 runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2022 in just 141 balls and hogged the limelight. He was playing for Tamil Nadu against Arunachal Pradesh.
Also read: IPL 2023: 3 Reasons Why KKR Might Win The Next Edition Of IPL