Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) will be entering the 2021 edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) as the defending champions. Having defeated the St Lucia Kings in last year’s final, the four-time winners will be striving to maintain their dominance in the CPL history.
TKR start off their campaign with an opening day encounter on August 26 versus the Guyana Amazon Warriors in St Kitts, which will host the entire CPL 2021 with bio-security arrangements amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based in Trinidad & Tobago, TKR have largely retained their core group from last year. The only two notable changes in their squad are: Yasir Shah coming in for Sandeep Lamichhane and Tim Seifert taking the place of Sikandar Raza.
1. Lendl Simmons
Finishing as the top run-getter of CPL 2020 with 356 runs at an average of 39.56 and strike-rate of 122.34, Simmons will be raring to go for the forthcoming season. The right-hand opening batsman was integral to his team’s title-winning campaign last year and will once again be a pivotal figure in their batting unit.
2. Sunil Narine
Narine may be going through a phase where people have begun to question his place in both departments of the game. But at his best, he can still be a devastating player at the top of the order and also deliver miserly spells through the middle period of an innings. In his five CPL 2020 encounters, Narine scored 144 runs at a strike-rate of 148.45 and took six wickets at an economy rate of just 4.55.
3. Colin Munro
An absolute destroyer of the bowling attacks when on song, New Zealand left-hander Colin Munro was one of the more consistent performers for Trinbango Knight Riders in CPL 2020. Munro struck 207 runs from his eight innings at an average of 34.50 and strike-rate of 133.54. Not named in the Kiwis’ squad for the T20 World Cup, Munro will also enter the CPL 2021 with a point to prove.
4. Darren Bravo
When he gets going, the freeflowing Darren Bravo reminds people of the legendary Brian Lara. Bravo finished CPL 2020 as TKR’s second highest run-getter with 297 runs and though his strike-rate (115.11) was a concern, the left-hander maintained an average of 59.40. TKR will hope that Bravo can produce his best this season and help them retain their coveted crown.
5. Denesh Ramdin
Shifting base from St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, experienced wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin will be hoping for a successful campaign with TKR. Ramdin has wealth of experience under his belt and can help balance out the team better if he gets going with the bat.
6. Kieron Pollard
Pollard led Trinbago Knight Riders from the front last summer, scoring 207 runs in the lower middle-order at an astonishing strike-rate of 204.95 while maintaining an average of 51.75. Pollard also bowled useful overs and took 8 wickets with an economy rate of 7.55. Not just his undoubted batting ability and handy medium fast bowling, Pollard’s experience and tactical acumen as a leader will also be of utmost importance to his team.
7. Isuru Udana
Former Sri Lanka left-arm pacer Udana could be the next man on the team list. Udana, who bid adieu to international cricket, will be approaching the CPL 2021 fresh. With the tournament getting played at the back end of the long Caribbean summer, Udana’s ability to bowl the slower balls and mix them up with the yorkers could help him make an impact.
8. Yasir Shah
TKR’s latest spin recruit, Pakistan’s Yasir Shah has a big challenge at hand to show his T20 prowess. Not the most miserly spinner in the world even in his best format – Test cricket – Shah will have to prove that he can not just pick up the wickets but also keep a tight leash on run-scoring when required.
9. Ali Khan
USA paceman Ali Khan has been a vital cog in TKR’s wheels over the years. The right-arm pacer played his part in CPL 2020 title victory last summer with eight wickets from as many games with a respectable economy rate of 7.43. Khan has now taken 40 wickets from his 39 games in his overall T20 career while going for 8.62 runs per over.
10. Jayden Seales
Having made such a promising start to his Test career for West Indies, young speedster Seales will be heading into the CPL 2021 with all the confidence he would’ve wanted. The 19-year-old took eight wickets from his six games in the last year’s CPL and will be hoping to add to his league tally in the coming few weeks.
11. Kharry Pierre
Left-arm spinner Pierre was a quiet but significant contributor to TKR’s successful campaign last season. He took nine wickets from his ten innings and gave away only 6.68 runs in the tournament. Pierre’s ability to tighten up an end will help other TKR bowlers chip away at the wickets column and ultimately bring about the opposition downfall.
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