IPL 2022: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Dream11 Fantasy Cricket Cheatsheet, Probable Playing XI, Squad Depth and Key Players
A look at the team combinations, depth chart, recent form and fantasy potential of key players from the Kolkata Knight Riders camp ahead of IPL 2022.
Coach: Brendon McCullum
Captain: Shreyas Iyer
IPL 2021 Finish: Runners-Up
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) – Team Composition & Combinations for IPL 2022
KKR tried a lot of opening combinations before settling on Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill last season. But they’re back to square one with Gill moving to Gujarat Titans and Hales, one of their overseas pick pulling out of the tournament early which leaves them with the option of opening with either one of Rahane or Finch. Shreyas Iyer and Nitish Rana will slot in at No.3 and 4 respectively with Billings or Sheldon Jackson as the wicket-keeper. Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Pat Cummins would be their other overseas picks and the likes of V Chakravarty, S Mavi and one out of Umesh Yadav or Anukul Roy will complete the pace attack.
Who will partner Venkatesh Iyer at the top?
Ajinkya Rahane and Aaron Finch are the two first choice options in the squad with the former starting in the playing eleven as Finch will join the squad only from the second week. Rahane needs to start strong but his mediocre record in the IPL in the recent years doesn’t inspire much confidence while Finch himself is going through a batting decline since 2020. It wouldn’t be a surprise if KKR tries one of their local options in the opening spot later in the tournament if both these players fail.
Also Read: IPL 2022: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Dream11 Fantasy Cricket Cheatsheet, Probable Playing XI, Squad Depth, and Key Players
Can Sam Billings sustain the whole season?
Sam Billings is a versatile batter who could float around in the middle order being equally good against both pace and spin and offers wicketkeeping value in addition. He’ll start the tournament for KKR as the fourth overseas option but would be required to make an immediate impact with the bat to sustain his position in the eleven. As we discussed above if Rahane doesn’t perform well, KKR would look to bring in Finch into the side eventually replacing Billings.
Will KKR overload on pace options or spin options?
Last season KKR mostly played three spinners in their lineup to exploit the slow conditions on offer. With the venues at Mumbai and Pune likely to be batter-friendly early on, they would start with Umesh Yadav in the eleven. But as the tournament progresses and the tracks start to play slow or if the matchups are in favour they would be tempted to bring in Anukul Roy, the left arm spin all-rounder.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Fantasy Cheat Sheet for IPL 2022
Players who have proven themselves to be top-scoring fantasy players and are popular.
Shreyas Iyer – One of the league’s most consistent batters, Iyer has crossed the 400 run mark in all seasons from 2018 to 2020 and even managed to score 175 runs in an injury hit season last year. He has showcased tremendous form in all formats for India recently and averages 39 Dream11 batting points per game since 2018 IPL.
Andre Russell – For a MVP player capable of contributing equally with the bat and ball, his performances in the past couple of seasons have been disappointing due to multiple reasons like injuries, teams targetting him with short balls and the tracks at UAE. With the IPL being held at Mumbai this year, Russell would fancy himself against the short boundaries, and the slight dip in bowling quality due to the expansion of the league should also work in his favour. If fitness permits, he’s a wonderful fantasy package as he averages 34 Dream11 batting points and 22 Dream11 bowling points per game since IPL 2018.
The players who provide good value for their credits and can be banked upon for consistent returns.
Venkatesh Iyer – The past few months have been nothing but a fairytale for the pace bowling all-rounder. After being made to open by a struggling KKR in the UAE cycle of the IPL last year, he changed the fortunes of the team with his attacking strokeplay helping them reach the finals. He was soon fast-tracked to the Indian setup as a pace bowling all-rounder and has had some admirable performances with the bat lower down the order. He’ll open again for KKR this year and would look to repeat his performances from last season. In his short IPL career so far, he averages 51 Dream11 batting points.
Pat Cummins – For a pace bowler of his standards, Pat Cummins doesn’t really specialize in a particular role in T20s. He doesn’t pick wickets in the Powerplay nor hits the deck hard in the mid-overs and his death bowling skills was so poor that KKR had to finish his bowling quota before the death last season. While he offers some pace power-hitting value, he bats too low to make a huge impact with it. Individually it might seem like he doesn’t offer much fantasy value but as a package he’s very exciting. Since 2018 IPL, he averages 28 Dream11 bowling points and 16 Dream11 batting points and crosses the 50-point mark once every two games.
Varun Chakaravarthy – The mystery spinner from Tamil Nadu is currently one of the league’s best defensive spinner. While he’s out of action ever since the T20 World Cup, you can bank on him against certain oppositions which are weak against spin. He averages 33 Dream11 bowling points since his IPL debut.
Nitish Rana – He has batted at almost all the positions for KKR and is expected to play at No.4 this season. While his game against pace is weak, he offers good power-hitting value against spin especially finger-spin. Since 2018 IPL, he averages 33 batting points average per game.
Note – Don’t pick him against bowling attacks which have a middle-overs enforcer or quality leg-spinners.
The players who seem like good buys, but won’t score enough points to justify their credits or hype.
Sunil Narine – Once upon a time he used to be in the must-pick category for all fantasy leagues, but his fantasy value dropped once KKR opted to not open with him. As far as his bowling is concerned, he’s an economical bowler but as batters tend to play him out the wickets column is almost always dry. His showings in the recent BPL might tempt one to value him high but he opened the batting there and at KKR he’s most likely to be used as a floating pinch-hitter. Since 2018 IPL, he averages 26 Dream11 bowling points and 18 Dream11 batting points per game.
The players who provide decent enough value but are undervalued or are just not a well-known player.
Sam Billings – As discussed in the team combination section above, Billings is the first-choice keeper and is expected to bat at No.5 for KKR. With the top-order of KKR being unstable, he might get to bat earlier which provides decent game time and along with his wicket-keeping points he could be a good differential pick. In all T20s since 2018, he averages 29 Dream11 batting points per game.
Ajinkya Rahane – As discussed in the team combinations section, he’s likely to start for KKR as an opener. While he doesn’t offer much as a T20 batter currently, the opening position means he gets to accumulate some points making him a good differential buy.
The players who carry an element of risk with them which may be due to bad form, injury, lack of game time, etc……
Umesh Yadav – His value in T20 cricket lies only with the new ball since he’s unbowlable in the other two phases of the game. New ball specialists in T20s are always unreliable due to the lack of movement after the first few overs with the white Kookaburra ball and he averages only 15 Dream11 bowling points after his superb 2018 season where he picked wickets for fun with the new ball.
Aaron Finch – As discussed in the team combination section, he isn’t the feared batter he once he used to be and struggles vs new ball movement and wristspin equally.
BOOM OR BUST
A player who could perform one of two ways in a season: really well or really poorly.
Shivam Mavi – KKR have been really supportive of the young pacer ever since they picked him in 2018 as an U-19 player. The franchise has backed him through all the four seasons since 2018 despite injuries and stuff. Now it’s time for Mavi to pay the due back with his bowling performances. He has displayed some good form in the recently concluded Vijay Hazare trophy and SMAT.
Opponent Fantasy Value:
Every team is vulnerable to a certain batting type or a bowler type depending on their setup. For example, a batting unit full of right-handers will be vulnerable against left-arm spinners and wristspinners or a bowling attack void of any quality new-ball bowlers will leak runs in the Powerplay and allow the openers to score freely. These vulnerabilities of the team allows certain player types from opponent sides to perform freely against them which can be used to pick those player types from the opponent side in your fantasy team. As far as Kolkata Knight Riders are concerned, you can pick the player types listed below from the opponent side if those player types are available.
- Quality wrist-spinners
- Hit the deck pacers
- Anchors who can smoke pace and negotiate quality spin
- Death overs Pace hitters