Southee has five wickets in two matches for Kolkata in IPL 2022
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have been among the franchises who have made regular changes to their playing XI.
Former India left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha believes that KKR is likely to go with the same team that endured defeat against Delhi Capitals (DC) in their previous encounter, but vouched for the inclusion of Tim Southee.
The likes of Sheldon Jackson, Shivam Mavi, and Southee have descended to the bench over the first set of matches in IPL 2022. KKR have brought in Pat Cummins and Rasikh Salam as replacements as of late.
Predicting KKR to field the same playing XI, Ojha said on Cricbuzz:
“If such changes are made early, the confusion increases later on. I think they will go with the same playing XI.”
Opining that the side could use an experienced bowler at the Brabourne Stadium, Ojha said:
“Maybe they can think of bringing Southee in place of Billings since the match will be played at Brabourne, He can get the new ball to swing. Lot of runs have been scored over there and you may need an experienced bowler to bring in control.”
The New Zealand international forged an impeccable new ball partnership with Umesh Yadav. Southee has claimed five wickets in the two matches he has played in IPL 2022 so far.
The historic venue in Mumbai has been one of the highest scoring venues in IPL 2022 so far. Scores over 200 have already been chased down on two occasions.
Moreover, the two-time winners conceded the highest score of the tournament in their last contest at the venue against Delhi Capitals.
“If you are removing Billings from the KKR playing XI, you have to remove Rahane as well” – Parthiv Patel
Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell have cemented their place as the three out of the four overseas options for KKR. This leaves Sam Billings as the lone option to bring Southee back in.
However, former India wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel pointed out that removing Billings would leave the team without a stumper. As a result, he reasoned that Rahane has to be slotted out as well to make way for a gloveman.
“If you are removing Billings, you have to remove Rahane as well to bring in a wicket-keeper. So, Sheldon Jackson has to be brought into the side as an opener if they choose to proceed that way.”
The Shreyas Iyer-led side will take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) later tonight at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai in a bid to climb back up to the top of the table.