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Kolkata Knight Riders walked into the 2022 season of the Indian Premier League under the new leadership of Shreyas Iyer and would have hoped to bag the IPL crown for the third time. But, they failed to put on a string of victories and finished at the seventh position with six wins in 14 games.
In a bid to vindicate themselves, KKR let go of a total of 16 players from their squad. They were quite active in the trading window and added the likes of Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Lockie Ferguson, and Shardul Thakur to their arsenal. The Kolkata franchise has also made some smart buys at the auction. For instance, they picked quality players like David Wiese, Shakib Al Hasan, and Litton Das at their base price. As KKR look to put on an improved show in the 16th IPL edition, let us look at what their best starting XI looks like.
Best Starting Playing XI of KKR in IPL 2023
1. Venkatesh Iyer
Venkatesh Iyer took the second half of IPL 2021 by storm with his breathtaking performances. He took top-quality attacks to the cleaners with his stroke play and provided his side with brisk starts. The 27-year-old scored 370 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 128.47. Also, he was handy with his medium-pace and bagged three scalps at an economy of 8.11.
Venkatesh’s batting exploits were instrumental in KKR reaching the finals of the tournament and thus, the team management retained him for the 2022 season. However, the southpaw was quite mediocre with his performances and could score only 182 runs in 12 matches at a strike rate of 107.69. Also, he was not able to have any impact with the ball.
Venkatesh adds depth to the side due to his all-round prowess and therefore, Kolkata have stuck with him for the upcoming edition. The Indore-born showed his brilliance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2022, smashing 189 runs in four games at a strike rate of 161.53 and bagging six wickets for Madhya Pradesh before getting ruled out of the competition due to an ankle injury. The ace all-rounder would look to put on a show with both bat and ball in the 16th IPL edition.