Kolkata Knight Riders were dealt with two huge blows as young domestic pacers Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi were ruled out of the upcoming IPL season due to injuries.
While Kerala's Sandeep Warrier would replace Kamlesh Nagarkoti in the squad, a replacement is yet to be announced for Uttar Pradesh's Shivam Mavi.
Nagarkoti also missed last season and it will be the second consecutive IPL season in which the youngster will not feature. Shivam Mavi was impressive last season and he would have got plenty of chances this season if he would have been a part of the squad.
Now that these two youngsters would miss the tournament, KKR's domestic seam-bowling department looks weak. With Prasidh Krishna the only other India seamer in the team who could be a part of the playing XI, here are 3 Indian seamers who could replace Shivam Mavi in the KKR squad.
Karnataka's top wicket-taker in this year's Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, V Koushik has impressed everyone with his skills with the ball. Playing alongside the established trio of Vinay Kumar, Prasidh Krishna, and Abhimanyu Mithun, Koushik has held on to his place in the squad. He has picked up 17 wickets in 9 innings so far this season and he could be a good replacement for Shivam Mavi.
Koushik can bowl well at both ends of the innings and is good with his yorkers, as seen in the recent SMA Trophy. The 26-year-old has also done well in the Karnataka Premier League and is showing signs of becoming a specialist in the T20 format.
Hence, V Koushik is an option worth considering for the Dinesh Karthik led-squad which start their season with a game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on March 24th.
Tushar Deshpande has played 10 matches for Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this season and has picked up 19 wickets at an impressive average of 14.05. Deshpande has been a part of the Mumbai cricket circuit for a while now and with impressive performances this season, he will be looking to step into the next level of his career.
Deshpande made news ahead of the auctions held last year when he chose to play in a club game instead of attending a trial with IPL team Kings XI Punjab. Tushar also showed his character in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy when he decided to play in a game for Mumbai despite losing his mother a day ago.
Such strong characters are necessary for the game of cricket and hence, he would be a good replacement choice for the injured Shivam Mavi.
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Vinay Kumar just played the first two games of KKR last season and because of his disappointing performance in both these games, the veteran did not feature in another game for the franchise in that season. He was eventually released by the team and Vinay did not find a buyer in the auctions.
However, Vinay has displayed fine performances this season in all the three formats of the game. His wicket-taking abilities are still intact and surprisingly, his batting performances have been useful for his state this season.
With KKR not having an experienced Indian pacer in the squad, Vinay Kumar could just be the right person to lead the other youngsters in the squad. If given a few more opportunities than the previous season, Vinay could well be an important player for the squad.
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