The game of cricket is changing continuously and the latest change is the introduction of the ILT20 league. Meanwhile, some fans are questioning the step of playing a Cricket tournament in the format of Football leagues, others are extremely fascinated with this subject.
The 6 participating teams in the league won’t care one bit about all this gossip. All they would target is to get to glory in the first season of the UAE T20 league. Abu Dhabi Knight Riders will also be on the same mission but what are the odds of them getting there? Also, who are the players they expect to do wonders for them?
To find the answers to all these queries, keep reading.
Abu Dhabi Knight Riders Team Owner
Well, you may already have guessed the owner of the team by looking at its name. It’s none other than India’s Bollywood King, Shahrukh Khan. The Knight Riders group also owns a team each in the Indian Premier League and Caribbean Premier League, named as Kolkata Knight Riders and Tribano Knight Riders, respectively. Now, Abu Dhabi Knight Riders will be the third team under their ownership.
Abu Dhabi Knight Riders Squad Breakdown
Batsmen: Jonny Bairstow, Paul Stirling, Colin Ingram, Charith Asalanka, and Kennar Lewis
All-rounders: Andre Russell, Akeal Hosein, and Sunil Narine
Bowlers: Ali Khan, Seekkuge Prasanna, Ravi Rampaul, Raymon Reifer, Brandon Glover, and Lahiru Kumara
ADKR Likely Starting XI
ADKR’s squad has an abundance of West Indies players and three of them are all-rounders. Bearing the squad in mind, here’s how Abu Dhabi Knight Riders may start:
- Jonny Bairstow
- Paul Stirling
- Colin Ingram
- Charith Asalanka
- Local 1
- Andre Russell
- Akeal Hosein
- Sunil Narine
- Ali Khan
- Lahiru Kumara
- Local 2
Abu Dhabi Knight Riders Squad Strengths
Lethal Opening Duo
ADKR have formed more than a decent squad for the upcoming ILT20 league. However, their batting lineup will be heavily relying on their opening pair. The two veterans, Jonny Bairstow and Paul Stirling can kill the game inside the first 6 overs. They are not short on either quality or experience and the Knight Riders have alot depending on them.
With almost 12,000 T20 runs between them, Bairstow and Stirling have probably played in all conditions across the globe. These two blokes not only score runs but also score them at a brisk rate to dominate the opposition. If these two manage to have a fine tournament, ADKR will be hard to stop in the competition.
Flurry of All-Rounders
In T20 cricket, balance is the key for a team and a balanced XI needs at least one all-rounder. Abu Dhabi Knight Riders have got three of them and all three are from the West Indies. Russell and Narine don’t really need an introduction as they are prominent names in T20 cricket.
Both the Caribbeans play for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL and their inclusion in Abu Dhabi Knight Riders shows the confidence franchise owners have in them. Narine and Russell were an integral part of KKR’s two-time IPL winning teams.
They also are two-time T20 World Cup champions. If you are looking for guys who can win you trophies, these two are one of the top choices. They also have Akeal Hosein in their ranks. He doesn’t have a reputation like Russell or Narine but is more than handy with the ball and bat. In the recent past, he has been quite impressive in both departments.
With these three players coming down the order, Abu Dhabi Knight Riders can expect a big finish in each game. In bowling, they can give their team at least 10 overs. So, the ADKR team looks pretty well-balanced due to these three individuals.
Abu Dhabi Knight Riders Squad Weaknesses
Flaws in Pace Battery
ADKR have roped in some express fast bowlers for the inaugural ILT20 edition. But, they don’t have a new ball bowler who can utilize the shininess of the new ball to extract seam and swing. In T20 cricket, batters look to attack from the word go and the only way to stop them is by taking early wickets. That’s certainly an area where Abu Dhabi Knight Riders might find themselves wanting.
Also, the pace battery looks well short on experience. Russell and Kumara can clock more than 145 kph and other bowlers are impressive too. However, most of them don’t have enough cricketing experience under their belt. In a nutshell, ADKR don’t have the kind of pace attack with which you can be confident of reducing the opposition to a par score.
ADKR ILT20 Performance Prediction
Abu Dhabi Knight Riders have got some serious batting firepower in their ranks. Their batters and spinners can keep them afloat but the pace attack doesn’t look promising. So, the Knight Riders franchise might not be able to go beyond the league stages.
We predict Abu Dhabi Knight Riders (ADKR) to get eliminated in the league stages.