Two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are off to a poor start in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. After two edge-of-the-seat thrillers against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Gujarat Titans (GT) respectively, KKR has not been at their usual best.
Nitish Rana’s KKR has lost 4 games on the bounce and is struggling in the 8th position in the IPL 2023 points table. They have made several changes on the side; some of them have been forced and some of them have been tactical, that didn’t go their way.
As things stand after the first half of IPL 2023, KKR might not qualify for the playoffs. In this article, we take a look at 3 reasons why KKR might not qualify for the playoffs in IPL 2023:
1. No solid opening partner alongside Jason Roy
Jason Roy has been in blistering form in the ongoing IPL 2023. He scored a quickfire knock of 61 runs in just 26 balls in the match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Roy’s knock ushered in a wave of optimism in the KKR match as they were put to the sword by the 4-time IPL champions.
In the ongoing match between KKR and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Jason Roy fired on all cylinders and gave KKR, a solid start in the powerplay. He eventually was dismissed for 56 runs in 29 balls. Vijaykumar Vyshak had dismissed the in-form batter.
But the lack of an opening partner alongside Roy has been a thorn in the way for KKR. The two-time IPL champions have tried 6 different opening combinations in 8 games and this lack of clarity at the top isn’t boding well for KKR.
2. No depth in the pace bowling department
KKR haven’t had the best of performances from their pacers. The likes of Lockie Ferguson, Umesh Yadav, and Tim Southee have all been taken to the cleaners by the opposition batters and this has been a major drawback for the Chandrakant Pandit coached side.
In the previous game between KKR and CSK at Eden Gardens, all the pacers had an expensive economy of above 11. If they don’t sort out their pace bowling woes, it will be difficult for them to qualify for the playoffs.
3. The bench doesn’t have a lot of variety
The bench of KKR isn’t that strong. If Narayan Jagadeeshan is not able to perform, then KKR has only Mandeep Singh to resort to. Mandeep himself hasn’t been in form and has failed miserably in the games he has played in IPL.
Litton Das, who was brought in as a replacement for Afghani batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz had a forgettable outing against Delhi Capitals (DC). He missed two straightforward stumping chances and was dismissed for just 4 runs after playing a half-hearted pull shot.
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