Our spin department is one of the best in the tournament: KKR captain Eoin Morgan

Who will be the leading wicket-taker for KKR in IPL 2021?

Eoin Morgan feels Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have one of the strongest spin bowling line-ups in the IPL. The KKR captain said that with the arrival of Harbhajan Singh, their spin-bowling department has become stronger.

Eoin Morgan will have an embarrassment of riches to choose from when it comes to KKR’ slow bowling options in IPL 2021. Along with last year’s hero Varun Chakravarthy, they can call upon the likes of Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav. The addition of Shakib Al Hasan and Harbhajan Singh to the KKR setup has further bolstered their formidable spin bowling department.

Talking about KKR’s spin-bowling options in a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Eoin Morgan observed:

“I think adding Harbhajan to our squad has strengthened us in a really good way. If you look at our spin department as a whole, on paper it is one of the best in the tournament. That is factual.”

KKR are set to play three games at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai. With the ground known to favour spinners, Eoin Morgan looked forward to seeing the KKR spinners in full flow in Chennai. He said in this regard:

“You look at the options we have and the conditions we might play in, particularly in Chennai, which notoriously can turn and raise the eyebrows of our spinners. Which is hard to do! It is an area that, if we play well in the tournament, I think our spinners would have bowled well and contributed in that regard.”

Although the KKR spin bowling line-up looks good on paper, it will be interesting to see whether the spinners can deliver the goods on the field. Varun Chakravarthy has struggled with fitness concerns of late, while Kuldeep Yadav went wicketless in the recent ODI series against England.

Harbhajan Singh has not played any competitive cricket since IPL 2019, while Shakib Al Hasan has only just returned to international cricket. Sunil Narine, who was once KKR’s frontline spinner, picked up just five wickets last season.

Our squad is very well-rounded: Eoin Morgan

KKR had to reply on Shubman Gill and Eoin Morgan to do the bulk of the scoring last season, as several seasoned names failed to fire. Dinesh Karthik had a miserable campaign, averaging 14.08, while Andre Russell struggled too, scoring just 117 runs in ten games.

But with players like Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi doing well last year, Eoin Morgan feels the team are well stocked ahead of IPL 2021.

“Similarly, our batting unit, I think if we have a really good campaign, I think a lot of our players would have contributed and had a big impact in the tournament. Our squad is very well-rounded and is extremely strong in particular departments.”

KKR would want their marquee players to fire this season. If the likes of Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell get going, KKR would have one of the most well-balanced outfits in the IPL season. The arrival of Shakib Al Hasan offers a solid alternative to Sunil Narine, who was a hit-and-miss last season.

With Shubman Gill at the top, KKR now have a solid opener to give them electric starts. Stability in the leadership role should also help Eoin Morgan and co., who begin their IPL 2021 campaign against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 11.

Published 31 Mar 2021, 18:25 IST

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