Two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders begin their campaign this year by facing defending champions Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on September 23. KKR have a new captain in Dinesh Karthik who has done a decent job for the side in the last two years.

When they sat in the IPL 2020 auction this year, the KKR management was keen to plug the loopholes they had which prevented them from making it to the playoffs last year.

What is interesting about KKR is that they have a good mix of young and experienced players in the side. The need of the hour is just to find the right balance in terms of performance. They also have a different coach in Brendon McCullum, a former player of the side who will look to give KKR their third IPL title this year.

So ahead of KKR’s season opener, we take a look at 5 key players to watch out for this season for KKR: 

1. Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik (Credit: IPL)

For every team, their captain becomes the most important player in the side. It is he who takes the team forward with his decisions and guides the players when they need some advice. Dinesh Karthik really started well as KKR’s captain in 2018 taking the team to the playoffs.

He then tapered off a little next year as his decision making was questioned repeatedly. He did not make use of Andre Russell’s great potential with the bat and the potential of other key players in the side.

What he can count on is his experience and together with Russell and Eoin Morgan, Karthik makes the KKR middle-order looks enviable.

Harsha Bhogle in his preview of the side with Cricbuzz said that KKR’s envious middle order will put fear in other teams. It remains only to be seen if Karthik, Russell and Morgan can live up to the expectations of all Kolkata fans.

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