New Delhi: Kolkata Knight Riders will be heavily reliant on its spinners in the Indian Premier League season 9 as skipper Gautam Gambhir looks to win a third title in five years.
The first test will be against Delhi Daredevils at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
Kolkata didn't opt for many changes this time in the auctions which gives them an edge with a settled team at their disposal.
Star spinner Sunil Narine will be missing the opening tie against Delhi Daredevils, but KKR have plenty of mix in their spin department with some variety.
The presence of Brad Hogg, Piyush Chawla, Shakib Al Hasan and Kuldeep Yadav in the squad boasts of some interesting names in the squad. Although KKR may opt for Hogg, Shakib and Chawla against DD and use the trio's experience to unsettle the batsmen.
Even if Hogg does not play, KKR may get some overs from Yusuf Pathan and try out Kiwi batsman Colin Munro to give the batting some solidity.
Kolkata pitch will assist spin and that's where the value of the trio will come into play in the middle overs especially.
Gambhir will be wary of the DD side, who have some serious names in their disposal and will hope his set of spinners does the job at home. KKR will play six back to back away games after this tie due to Bengal elections and a win at home to start with will give the unit some much needed belief.
Possible XI of KKR against DD -
Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Colin Munro, Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Surya Kumar Yadav, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav