The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) attempted to improve upon their 7th-place result from the previous season by implementing a major revamp during the IPL 2024 auction. With a healthy budget of 32.7 crores, KKR made waves when they offered the highest amount in IPL history—24.75 crores—to get Australian pace phenom Mitchell Starc.
Famous players like Shakib Al Hasan, Litton Das, and others left the team during the reorganization, but vital members like Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, and the potent hitters Rinku Singh and Andre Russell were kept. The group entered the auction focused on building a vibrant and well-balanced lineup, guided by a clear strategic vision.
IPL 2024 Team Review: Kolkata Knight Riders
The two overseas quicks can bring plenty of raw pace, which KKR needed. Manish Pandey, a member of the team that won the IPL title in 2014, is back in the lineup. Despite his limited international experience, KKR has trusted his local and IPL background to provide value in the middle order.
Additionally, they have acquired strong backups for specific players. The West Indian big-hitter Sherfane Rutherford is Andre Russell’s backup, while the Indian wicketkeeper KS Bharat is the obvious backup for Rahmanullah Gurbaz.
The KKR playing XI from last year will appear somewhat different with the addition of these new players. Nitish Rana will serve as Shreyas Iyer’s deputy as he leads the team once more. The management of KKR had earlier confirmed his return.
This article examines KKR strongest playing XI for the IPL 2024 when they will be vying for a third IPL title under Gautam Gambhir’s mentoring. Notably, KKR placed sixth in the previous season’s points standings. Here are the key players that will make up the KKR IPL 2024 squad.
KKR Playing XI For IPL 2024
➤ Openers: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Venkatesh Iyer
The seasoned Jason Roy should ideally be at the top of the order in the KKR playing XI. The explosive Englishman has emerged as a formidable threat at every stage of the innings after playing a few explosive knocks during the 2023 Indian Premier League. He has also been able to reinvent his approach against spin.
However, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and KS Bharat are the only two wicketkeepers available to Kolkata. They will need to drop Gurbaz to make room for Roy by opening an overseas berth. In such a case, Bharat will have to bat well out of position because top-order berths are in short supply.
Thus, by putting Gurbaz—who can be dangerous on his day—at the head of the order, KKR could make the most use of its resources. The Afghan opening has to play with more steadiness.
Another player who lacks the same level of confidence as he did in his breakout 2021 season is Venkatesh Iyer. The left-hander is best deployed at the top and should join Gurbaz in the KKR Playing XI, despite his struggles with swing and strike rotation.
If KKR wants to include Roy and Bharat in the mix, they have a lot of options to choose from. But, for the time being, they should remain with Gurbaz and Venkatesh. Due to his lack of expertise and track record in T20 cricket, Angkrish Raghuvanshi will only be used as a backup in the KKR IPL 2024 squad.
➤ Middle Order: Shreyas Iyer (c), Rinku Singh, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Ramandeep Singh
Four names in KKR’s middle order are easy to choose. The team’s core has been built over the last few years by Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, and Andre Russell, and it will remain that way in the 2024 Indian Premier League.
To extend their batting lineup, the Kolkata Knight Riders may have to field Ramandeep Singh at No. 7. Another option is Manish Pandey, but Ramandeep can deliver powerful strikes and work with Russell as a third-pacer.
Kolkata may choose to start Vaibhav Arora or Chetan Sakariya ahead of Ramandeep to rely on the lower-order batting of Harshit Rana, Sunil Narine, and Mitchell Starc. However, none of the three can guarantee success at No. 7, and their best option may be the former all-rounder for the Mumbai Indians (MI).
➤ Lower Order: Sunil Narine, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakaravarthy, Mitchell Starc,
KKR would probably want to deploy its outstanding spin three of Sunil Narine, Varun Chakaravarthy, and Suyash Sharma in tandem now that the Eden Gardens are once again spin-friendly. This would require one of them to be the impact player and come off the bench—either Suyash or Varun.
After Mitchell Starc was added to the squad, there is now just one position available in the KKR Playing XI. Harshit Rana, who can move the ball and hit hard lengths at a good speed, might be the front-runner for that position. The young player could have a breakthrough IPL season because he also has some big-hitting potential. It would be unfortunate for Arora and Sakariya to lose out, but that is the makeup of the KKR strongest playing XI for the IPL 2024 season.