IPL 2023 Match 13 Condensed KKR Preview

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Photo Cred: ICC Cricket Schedule

Let’s keep it rolling while it’s still hot! The KKR IPL 2023 preview and review series has set its eyes on a new target: Match #13. The Kolkata Knight Riders will be facing the defending champions, Gujarat Titans (GT). Gujarat has started this season off well too: 2-0 and a +0.700 Net Run Rate (NRR). Can the sophomores keep this hot start up to go along with their amazing performance in 2022? As always with the pregame previews, here’s what you can expect: ideal playing XIs, any pre-match news/updates, and a little information on the opponents and what to watch out for.

Photo Cred: SportsTiger

Pre-match News & Updates

  1. Two player replacements for each team will either arrive soon or already have arrived. For the Titans, Sri Lankan white-ball (ODI and T20I) captain Dasun Shanaka will replace fellow international white-ball captain, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson. Williamson suffered an unfortunate knee injury in the opening game of the IPL 2023 season while attempting to save runs on the field. According to ESPNcricinfo, Shanaka was supposed to arrive this weekend but hasn’t yet.
  2. As for the Knight Riders, they signed Englishman Jason Roy to replace Bangladeshi Test and T20I captain Shakib Al Hasan. Shakib had opted out of the season due to personal reasons as well as international commitments for The Tigers. Roy has arrived in India and is expected to be available for today’s match.

Photo Cred: ipl.ae (Shanaka)                                  Photo Cred: ipl.ae

Playing XIs

Bat-first
  1. Rahmanullah Gurbaz (overseas- Afghanistan)
  2. Narayan Jagadeesan (wicketkeeper)
  3. Jason Roy (overseas- England)
  4. Nitish Rana (captain)
  5. Venkatesh Iyer
  6. Rinku Singh
  7. Andre Russell (overseas- West Indies/Jamaica)
  8. Shardul Thakur
  9. Sunil Narine (overseas- West Indies/Trinidad & Tobago)
  10. Umesh Yadav
  11. Varun Chakravarthy

Photo Cred: Deccan Herald (Rinku)                       Photo Cred: ESPNcricinfo (Chakravarthy)

Bowl-first
  1. Rahmanullah Gurbaz (overseas- Afghanistan)
  2. Narayan Jagadeesan (wicketkeeper)
  3. Nitish Rana (captain)
  4. Venkatesh Iyer
  5. Rinku Singh
  6. Andre Russell (overseas- West Indies/Jamaica)
  7. Shardul Thakur
  8. Sunil Narine (overseas- West Indies/Trinidad & Tobago)
  9. Umesh Yadav
  10. Varun Chakravarthy
  11. Suyash Sharma

Photo Cred: CricXtasy (Yadav)                         Photo Cred: The Indian Express (Rana)

Impact Player Possibility

Impact Players can come in at any point in the game, whether a team is batting or bowling. Case in point, the Lucknow Super Giants introduced their selection (Krishnappa Gowtham) in the last ball of their innings while they were still batting. Gowtham is known to be good with the bat, as shown by his hitting a six on the first and only ball he faced. That being said, he was brought on to bowl some handy spin off-breaks. Taking inspiration from this, I will instead name multiple players in various roles who can come in based on what is needed/required of the situation at that point.

Batter: Indian option- Mandeep Singh, overseas option- Jason Roy (England).

If we need an extra batter, Mandeep is the Indian option by default because we have no other legitimate option left. Roy is the overseas option for now if he does not make the first XI. Once he makes it to the squad, my selection would be Bangladeshi Litton Das.

Photo Cred: Mens Team | IPL T20 (Mandeep)        Photo Cred: Cricreads (Das)

Seam Bowler: Indian option- Kulwant Khejroliya, overseas option- David Wiese (Namibia/formerly South Africa).

I want to see what Khejroliya can bring to the table. His previous IPL track record may not bode well for him, but his overall T20 stats still make him a legitimate go-to option. I’ve seen enough of Tim Southee this year (for now), so I would like to see what Wiese has to provide. He is a better batter than Southee as well, so that helps lengthen our tail-end. Once Lockie Ferguson is back, he could slot back into the playing XI or be used as an Impact Player.

Spin Bowler: Indian option- Suyash Sharma.

Suyash is the only real option because of his recent exploits against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Anukul Roy is another legitimate option but he is Indian as well, so Suyash beats him out. There aren’t any overseas options because Shakib was supposed to be that guy and he isn’t going to play for us.

Photo Cred: Twitter                                       Photo Cred: NDTV Sports (Suyash)

Playing XI Reasoning

  1. Mandeep has now had two opportunities to make things right. Instead, he followed up a 4-ball 2 with a golden duck… If that doesn’t equal to him being dropped, then I don’t know what will. Jagadeesan, having been a primary opener in his playing days, should partner Gurbaz.
  2. As previously mentioned, Jagadeesan is the main keeper because Gurbaz has played as an outfield player before. Jagadeesan, meanwhile, has always been a keeper on the field.
  3. In my bat-first XI, I am making the bold decision to play Jason Roy at no. 3. He is a top-order batter and our batting did need some help last game, outside of Gurbaz, Rinku, and Thakur. Hey, we did have to pay extra to get him (base price was 1.5 crore, we signed him for 2.8 crores), so why not play him? He is available, after all.
  4. Venkatesh did not work as an opener in the last game, scoring only three runs in seven balls. He batted well at no. 4 against Punjab but will have to bat one slot lower due to Roy’s inclusion.
  5. Rinku solidified his standing in the team with his valuable 46-run contribution. So did Thakur, who also bowled pretty well too (one wicket for 15 runs in two overs).
  6. Narine had a MUCH better day with the ball this time around, picking up two wickets for 16 runs in his four-over spell. Guys like Rinku and Narine cannot be easily replaced due to the lack of depth behind them, so they will continue to get longer runs in the side regardless of performance (at least in my opinion).
  7. Southee may have taken two wickets in game 1 but giving up 25 runs in two overs after previously giving up 54 in four should be more than enough reason to finally drop him. I’m just waiting for the day Ferguson returns back into the squad…
  8. I know I may not have mentioned them much but Nitish Rana and Umesh Yadav continue to stay with the side as well. Rana had a more valuable contribution in game 1 (17-ball 24) but his captaincy decisions on the field have worked out quite nicely! Meanwhile, Yadav has just chugged along as a consistent economical bowler (6.75, 8.50 econ), even picking up a wicket and six runs batting along the way.
  9. In my bat-first XI, my Impact Player selection would be between Suyash and Khejroliya. Cricinfo did mention in their preview that there is a chance GT changes their pitch to counter KKR’s spinners. If it is a spin-friendly track, bring on Suyash, otherwise bowl Khejroliya and (possibly) Dre Russ.
  10. In my bowl-first XI, Suyash will enter the side. This is done so KKR has three legitimate spin (Narine, Chakravarthy, Suyash) and seam (Russell, Thakur, Yadav) options to even things out. My Impact Player, in this situation, would be Jason Roy. Bring on the extra firepower with his batting, I say. Use him to his fullest while we have him.

Photo Cred: Kolkata Knight Riders (Jagadeesan)             Photo Cred: NDTV Sports (Narine)

KKR Player Unavailability

  1. Shreyas Iyer: Back surgery, ruled out of the tournament.
  2. Shakib Al Hasan (overseas- Bangladesh): Opted out of the tournament.
  3. Litton Das (overseas- Bangladesh): Just finished playing in the Bangladesh-Ireland Test match, will arrive by April 14th.
  4. Lockie Ferguson (overseas- New Zealand): Injury (hamstring), might not be ready yet.

Photo Cred: Tribune India (Shreyas)                                       Photo Cred: Rediff.com

The Opponent- Gujarat Titans

What to Watch Out For

  1. Their track record. They might be a newer team (only made their debut last season) but they have been a deadly side to face so far! In IPL 2022, they won 10 of their 14 games, the only team with double-digit wins. They were taken down to the wire in Qualifier 1 but managed to take out the Rajasthan Royals. As if the Royals didn’t have enough of them already, the two sides met in the final as well. No change to the result, though, as both games resulted in seven-wicket wins for GT. They’re off to a high-flying start this year too, with two wins on the trot against the Chennai Super Kings and the Delhi Capitals.
  2. Two major wicket-taking options. Afghanistan’s T20I captain Rashid Khan is tied for the most wickets in the team (five) along with Indian seamer Mohammed Shami. Rashid is the lead spinner whose action, even in 2023, cannot be countered effectively. It’s been this way since his cricketing debut in 2015, which is why he has the most T20 wickets by a spinner and the second-most wickets overall in this format. Shami, meanwhile, uses his speed (153.3 kph/95.25 mph) to rattle batters, although he does have inconsistencies with his economy rate from time to time (can be expensive at times).
    • West Indian Alzarri Joseph is also not far behind, having taken four wickets himself. He’s had some decent economy rates so far (8.25, 7.25), so we will need to watch out for him as well. He does bring some speed in his game too (147 kph/91.34 mph).
  3. Good batting overall. Openers Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill may only have 59 runs together but they have combined for 116 runs in total. Sai Sudarshan has 84 runs, Vijay Shankar has 56, Rashid hit a three-ball 10 in their first game, and South African David Miller hit 31 on his season debut. Most of their batters have at least had a 125+ SR. Need I say more?

Photo Cred: NDTV Sports (Rashid)                      Photo Cred: InsideSport.IN (Sudarshan)

Random Observations

  1. This will be a chance for Gurbaz and (if he’s fit) Ferguson to play against their former title-winning teammates from last year. Gurbaz did not get a game in last year, but Ferguson was at the forefront of GT’s season: 12 wickets (his second-most in the IPL, third-most in the team), 8.96 econ, 35.58 ave.
  2. Jason Roy was also supposed to be a Titan last year, having been bought by them in the 2022 IPL Auction for his base price of 2.00 Crores. He ended up withdrawing from the tournament due to bio-bubble fatigue (the IPL was still being played in COVID bubbles last year).
    • Coincidentally, the man who replaced him was… Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Now, they get to play with each other in the same side!
  3. Should he make his season debut as well, Shivam Mavi could also face his former side. KKR has been the only team he’s played for in the IPL, up until he got bought for 6.00 Crore by Gujarat in the 2023 auction. We appreciate your contributions for us during your five-year stay in Kolkata, Shivam. Do well with your new franchise!
  4. Mavi will not be the only former KKR player playing his former team. Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill, and Mohammed Shami will almost certainly get a game against Kolkata as well. Gill had a four-year stay himself from 2018-21, while Saha had a three-year stay from 2008-10. Those were the first three IPL seasons in the history of the league, so Saha was able to start off his IPL career with his hometown team (he is Bengali as well). Lastly, Shami played here for three years as well, from 2011-13.
    • Gill was an amazing opener for us, and I am extremely disappointed we let him go in 2022. GT snapped him up as a draft pick for 8 Crore.
    • Saha has been away from KKR for a while now, having spent 11 years for three more teams (Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad) before going to (and staying with) Gujarat since 2022. Regardless of that, he had at least been with the Bengal squad all those years. Well, at least until 2022, when he left for Tripura due to conflicts with the staff. Seeing him leave Bengal hurt me more than seeing him leave KKR, and I even wrote about it at Culture in Sports.
    • Shami still represents Bengal domestically, despite being born in Uttar Pradesh. It has been great to at least have him on board whenever possible, although his domestic appearances are more sparce now due to his international commitments. KKR was his first franchise, and he has also represented the then-Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals) and the then-Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings).
  5. There is also going to be an Afghanistan vs. Afghanistan matchup in this game: Rashid vs. Gurbaz. Usually, most Afghan players in the IPL have been bowlers, so seeing the first Afghan batter (who’s been successful as well) is very refreshing! Hopefully, Gurbaz has faced Rashid enough times in the nets to counteract Rashid’s amazing web of spin! KKR will need Gurbaz at his best in this game.

Photo Cred: The Statesman (Jason Roy)          Photo Cred: InsideSport.IN (Mavi)

The Links to My KKR Preview & Review Series

  1. My Thoughts on the Kolkata Knight Riders for the IPL 2023 season (also includes the condensed preview of KKR vs. PBKS)
  2. IPL 2023 Match 2 Condensed Review- KKR vs. PBKS
  3. IPL 2023 Match 9 Condensed KKR Preview
  4. IPL 2023 Match 9 Condensed Review- KKR vs. RCB

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