Lynn, Russell likely to play KKR’s IPL opener

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Kolkata, March 21 (IANS) Though conceding that injuries to key players is a “bit unfortunate”, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) CEO Venky Mysore on Wednesday said he is hopeful the trio of Mitchell Starc, Chris Lynn and Andre Russell will turn up against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Eden Gardens in their Indian Premier League (IPL) opener on April 8.

“I think that Starc report was not necessarily very accurate. He is absolutely fine. It’s a bit unfortunate with the injuries. All the reports we are getting, they are making very good progress. Fingers crossed,” Mysore said on the sidelines of Sourav Ganguly’s book launch titled ‘A Century Is Not Enough’.

Australian pace spearhead Starc is expected to overcome a sore calf and take part in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town, starting Thursday.

Fellow compatriot Lynn has struggled with injury recently as well, dislocating his shoulder last month during Australia’s T20 international against New Zealand in Auckland.

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The explosive 27-year-old opener who played some stellar knocks for KKR last season could not take part in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) but did not require a surgery in his shoulder.

Coming to Russell, the West Indian all-rounder was ruled out for the remainder of the PSL after pulled his right hamstring during the course of his side — Islamabad United’s eight-wicket win that consigned Karachi Kings earlier this month.

“We are expecting them to play on April 8. They will join the camp,” said Mysore.

KKR are already doing a conditioning camp here and are expected to go full throttle at the Eden from April 1.

Mysore was all praise for KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik who became the toast of the nation after his freak cameo of 29 not out from just eight balls, guiding India to a last-ball victory over Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series final in Colombo recently.

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“In eight balls, he has made us look like geniuses. But we were convinced even before that, that he is the right choice for us,” Mysore revealed.

“He has lot of freshness, lot of experience and he is a class player. With a wicketkeeper, batsman and captain you get three in one there.

“He has the flexibility to play under any situation. His calmness struck me. I have spent a lot of time with him recently, and when he came in to bat he seemed like he was confident he was going to win it. It bodes well for us also,” he added.

Commenting on KKR’s choice of Karthik’s deputy, Mysore said: “Robin (Uthappa) as his vice-captain, he has been there with us for so many years. So it’s the combination of continuity and change for us. I was very happy when DK won the game for India.”

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Talking about the India U-19 World Cup winners in his arsenal, Mysore said the likes of Shubhman Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi would be well looked after so that their transition is not hampered.

“I have been spending some time with them and I spoke to Rahul Dravid (head coach) even before the auctions, they have got some amazing talent and skill.”

“We are going to do everything to make it comfortable for them.. that transition you know. We have got a good combination of very experienced cricketers, at the same time some youth so hopefully they will all come together,” Mysore signed off.

–IANS

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