Gautam Gambhir © PTI (File Photo)
Gautam Gambhir © PTI (File Photo)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Dolphins are all set to face each other in the last group match of Champion’s league T20 (CLT20) 2014. Sandipan Banerjee takes a look at  KKR’s likely XI for this match.

Though KKR have qualified for the semis but Gautam Gambhir would not like to change the winning combination against the Dolphins. Following are the list of players who are likely to take the field against the Dolphins on Monday

1. Gautam Gambhir (c): Gambhir had a decent outing in CLT20 2014 but he needs up his performance. His role in the opening positing will be crucial for KKR’s chances in the tournament. He along with Robin Uthappa would like give the Kolkata-based team a good and steady start. On personal note also this tournament will be crucial for the KKR skipper. He needs to do something extraordinary to keep his World Cup hopes alive. The CLT20 is a perfect opportunity for him as his performances in this tournament will be noticed by the selectors.

2. Robin Uthappa (wk):  Robin Uthappa had a dream season in the recent Indian Premier League (IPL). His brilliant knocks at the top of the order took KKR to the finals. But after IPL he didn’t have much success. So for Utappa also this tournament is a good platform to impress the selectors. Uthappa will also keep wickets for KKR.

3. Manish Pandey: Who can forget the excellent knock by this Karnataka boy in the IPL  final? Against the Dolphins, he will again bat at his usual batting position and according to many experts, number three is the best position for him in this KKR team.

4. Ryan Ten Doeschate: KKR employed Ryan ten Doeschate as one of the finishers of team and they should continue to do so in the CLT20. In the first match against CSK he showed his potential with bat.  Apart from his batting, Doeschate’s slow medium pace bowling can be an asset for the team.

5. Yusuf Pathan: Team management’s faith in Yusuf Pathan had finally paid off when he single handedly put KKR in the Qualifiers of IPl as the number two team in the points table with a breath taking knock against Sunrisers at Eden Gardens.  Against the Perth Scorchers he impressed with bat. Pathan need a big innings under his before the semi-finals.

6. Andre Russell: The West Indies all-rounder emerged as an ideal finisher for the side. His knock against CSK will be remembered by the KKR fans. He would like to do more good things for his team to become a regular member.

7. Suryakumar Yadav: Suryakumar Yadav at number seven was a revolution for KKR in this year’s CLT20 and in this year’s IPL. His unorthodox shots can hurt the opposition big time.  At number seven he can be most effective for the boys in purple.

8. Piyush Chawla: Piyush Chawla is the finisher of the team. But his main job will be supporting star spinner Sunil Narine. Though he generally concedes runs, he is a wicket-taking bowler and leg spinners add variety to any team.

9: Sunil Narine: The West Indian mystery man is probably the most important player for KKR. His four over’s are generally the deciding factor for Gambhir’s team. Sunil Narine opted out from the Bangladesh series  to play in the Champion’s league, which shows his zeal for the team.

10. Pat Cummins: Though Pat Cummins was dropped in the last game, but he should get another chance to perform ahed of the semi-finals. KKR need a genuine pacer who can bowl well with the new ball. Cummins can be the perfect man for this job.

11. Umesh Yadav: Yadav had a good IPL, but he missed chances to to play regularly for the national team in recent times. But for KKR his place is almost certain. Along with Cummins, Yadav can be effective opening bowling pair for the Knights.

Catch the complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 here

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at Cricket Country. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)