Indian Playerzpot League 2023 is slated to take place from 31st March to 21st May, with defending champions Gujarat taking on Chennai in the season opener. 74 matches, including playoffs and final, will be played throughout the season for almost two months in 12 venues across India. After a gap of two years, each and every team will get the opportunity to play the matches at their home ground as the home and away fixtures are back. A total of 10 teams will vie for the prestigious title in the upcoming season of the Indian Playerzpot League.
Kolkata had a moderate season in the Indian Playerzpot League last year as they finished seventh in the league stage and failed to qualify for the playoffs. However, the teams will look to make amends in the upcoming season of the Indian Playerzpot League. Ahead of the tournament, Kolkata made some changes in its squad by retaining and releasing some players from the previous season. The franchise did pretty well at the auction by signing up some talented players including the likes of N. Jagadeeshan, L. Das, S. Al Hassan, D. Wiese and to name a few. However, Kolkata will miss the services of P. Cummins and S. Billings in the Indian Playerzpot League 2023. Captain S. Iyer is unlikely to remain available for the season due to injury.
The Kolkata team looks balanced despite the absence of some of the players for the upcoming season of the Indian Playerzpot League. There are certain players whose contributions can be crucial in the Indian Playerzpot League 2023.
Here are five key players to watch out from Kolkata
#1. A. Russell
A. Russell was retained by Kolkata ahead of the Indian Playerzpot League 2023. He has been an integral part of the franchise since 2014 and played a crucial role in the team’s success in the Indian T20 League 2023. A. Russell is a powerplay all-rounder who is known for his big-hitting ability and can turn the game on its head with his batting. He is often considered the ‘One Man Army’ for his ability to contribute successfully with the bat as well as bowl. Russell has been the pillar of Kolkata’s campaign in the last few seasons. With his brilliant all-around abilities, Kolkata is expected to rely heavily on A. Russell in the upcoming season of the Indian Playerzpot League 2023.
#2. S. Thakur
S. Thakur was traded from the Delhi team ahead of the Indian Playerzpot League 2023. The 31-year-old can add strength to Kolkata’s bowling unit with his exceptional skills. He will look to sharpen the fast bowling unit of the Kolkata team alongside Andre Russell, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, and Lockie Ferguson. Besides bowling, he also has the potential to play a few good knocks by batting at the lower order. In the past, he displayed swashbuckling cameos for Team India on a few occasions. Banking on his reputation as a batter, Kolkata will look to reap the benefits of his batting talent as well as to successful campaign.
#3. T. Southee
T. Southee was retained by Kolkata ahead of the Indian Playerzpot League 2023. Southee is expected to spearhead the pace attack alongside Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav. The 34-year-old is an experienced fast bowler, with the ability to swing the ball and take wickets in the powerplay. His variations in pace and length can make him a potent weapon for Kolkata in the upcoming season of the Indian Playerzpot League 2023. He can be a reliable bowler in the powerplay overs. Additionally, Southee can contribute with the bat and thus adding depth to Kolkata’s batting line-up. Southee can be a crucial player for Kolkata in the Indian Playerzpot League 2023.
#4. N. Rana
N. Rana was retained by Kolkata ahead of the Indian Playerzpot League 2023. Rana has been part of the team since 2018. The 29-year-old is a left-handed attacking batsman and has been successful in scoring quick runs in the middle overs. Rana was the second-highest run-getter for the team in the previous season. N. Rana has been one of the pillars of Kolkata’s batting line-up over the last few seasons. He can also contribute to the team with his part-time off-spin bowling. Rana’s ability to consistently perform well with the bat can make him one of the key players from Kolkata in the Indian Playerzpot League 2023. His contribution is vital in the team’s success in the upcoming season of the tournament.
#5. S. Narine
S. Narine was retained by Kolkata ahead of the Indian Playerzpot League 2023. Narine has been an integral part of the Kolkata team since 2012 and played a vital role in the team’s successful title run in 2012 and 2014. Narine is a skilled spinner and has the ability to turn the matches around with his spin bowling and lower-order batting. On some occasions, he played as an opener and provided good starts at the top order of the batting line-up. S. Narine was retained by Kolkata as he has been one of the valuable players for the team for over a decade. S. Narine is likely to lead Kolkata in the absence of S. Iyer in the Indian Playerzpot League 2023. Kolkata may likely use him as a pinch-hitter at the top of the order or a specialist bowler in the middle overs.
S. Iyer (c), N. Rana, R. Gurbaz, V. Iyer, A. Russell, S. Narine, S. Thakur, L. Ferguson, U. Yadav, T. Southee, H. Rana, V. Chakravarthy, A. Roy, R. Singh, N. Jagadeesan, V. Arora, S. Sharma, D. Wiese, K. Khejroliya, L. Das, M. Singh, S. Al Hasan.
Predicted Playing XI
N. Jagadeeshan, R. Gurbaz, N. Rana, R. Singh. V. Iyer. A. Russell, S. Narine (C), S. Thakur, T. Southee, U. Yadav, V. Chakravarthy,