The KKR franchise played a lot better than what was expected from them after the auction. Mostly because all the senior players stepped up and performed consistently. They also found young talents in Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna and of course, Shubman Gill. The new and relatively inexperienced captain Dinesh Karthik captained with an innovative mindset and gave his bowlers freedom.
Chris Lynn – 8.5
This year, Chris Lynn had to play a different role for KKR as the power play flourish that he used to provide was provided by Sunil Narine. He became more of an anchor for the team. More importantly, he played all the matches for KKR in spite of injury concerns.
Shivam Mavi – 5.0
This youngster failed to impress very much in this IPL. He took only 5 wickets while conceding almost 10 runs per over. So if Shivam Mavi bowled every over of a game, the opposition team would reach around 200! Still he did hold his nerve under pressure and even though he did not perform that well for KKR, the future is bright for this youngster.
Andre Russell – 9.0
Battling with injury, he represented KKR in all the matches this season. When KKR retained him, I was a bit surprised as he wasn’t really a runaway T20 match winner (or so I thought) but in this season, he has shown that he is more than an excellent player. He finished most of the games for KKR and also had the 2nd highest strike in all of the players. His bowling was also decent and he won a few matches single-handedly for Kolkata Knight Riders. Russell is a class player and I expect him to don the purple of KKR again next year.
Prasidh Krishna – 8.0
As a replacement for Kamlesh Nagarkoti, he didn’t have a lot to live up to, but he still performed well. He showed his class as a pacy opening and smart death bowler. Even though his economy was a little high, he looked comfortable with his bowling and variations. He is an emerging player and after another potentially good IPL Season, he may get an opportunity to wear the Indian colours.
Shubman Gill – 8.5
After becoming the Man Of The Series in the U-19 World Cup, there were many hopes from Gill. He was given a chance to play after some games and wasn’t dropped since. KKR didn’t fully utilise his talent playing him at No.7 in the batting order. But whenever he got the chance, Gill, more often than not, grabbed it with both hands and proved his cricketing standard.
Mitchell Johnson – 4.0
He made my list of the most underperforming players in this IPL. Let’s face it, there were many hopes from the very experienced pace bowler leading a young bunch of inexperienced pace bowlers into the game. Ironically, he was the one sitting out while other fast bowlers played games for the team. 2 wickets after conceding 216 runs is not what the team expects from its main fast bowler.
Dinesh Karthik – 9.5
An average of 49.8 essentially means that Dinesh Karthik scored 50 runs on average whenever he walked out to bat. He has played a very flexible role for KKR this season. He came at No.4 after a good start and No.5 or No.6 to handle a collapse. He remained not out in most of the matches while forming an excellent finishing partnership with Andre Russell. He was also good with captaincy and handled his troops very well. I expect him to have finally found his team that he will play for till his playing days are over.
Sunil Narine – 10.0
In 2017, Sunil Narine was used as a pinch hitter by KKR and nobody really cared about his wicket, but now it’s a whole different story. He has started batting like a proper batsman, all the while hitting the ball hard. He has the highest Strike Rate in the IPL and has also been awarded the most valuable player award this year. Narine is the only opener who is also a full-time bowler so his contribution to the game is twice than that of other players. With his aggressive batting and smart bowling, I think Narine can give Rashid Khan a run for his money as the No.1 T20 player in the world.
P.S – I haven’t written for a long time as I was away for a trekking camp. But now I’m back! 😀