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Trinbago Knight Riders Season Preview

CricViz analyst Freddie Wilde picks Trinbago Knight Riders likely XI and identifies their strengths & weaknesses ahead of the 2020 CPL.

Likely XI

  1. Sunil Narine – left-hander & off spin
  2. Lendl Simmons – right-hander
  3. Colin Munro – left-hander
  4. Tim Seifert – right-hander & wicket-keeper
  5. Darren Bravo – left-hander
  6. Kieron Pollard – right-hander & right-arm medium
  7. Sikandar Raza – right-hander & off spin
  8. Dwayne Bravo – right-hander & right-arm medium fast
  9. Khary Pierre – left-arm spin
  10. Ali Khan – right-arm fast medium
  11. Fawad Ahmed – leg spin

    Squad players: Amir Jangoo (left-hander, wicket-keeper – Emerging Player), Tion Webster (right-hander), Pravin Tambe (leg spin), Akeal Hosein (left-arm finger spin), Anderson Phillip (right-arm fast medium), Jayden Seales (right-arm fast medium – Emerging Player)


Exceptional quality throughout

Simply speaking Trinbago have a squad boasting outrageous quality throughout. Sunil Narine is possibly the greatest T20 player of all time while Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo are also all-time greats, although the latter does appear to be on the decline. Fawad Ahmed and Colin Munro are elite T20 players and Tim Seifert is also very good and a player on the rise, while Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons and Khary Pierre are superb domestic options. Essentially they are a team packed with great or good T20 players. 

Versatile and dynamic batting

TKR’s batting order is versatile and dynamic with all bases covered. In Narine, Munro and Bravo they have three left-handers and in Simmons, Seifert and Pollard three right-handers. They have a good mix of strong players of spin: Narine, Seifert, Pollard and Simmons and destructive pace hitters Pollard, Munro and Dwayne Bravo. It is hard to find a fault with this TKR batting line-up. Their biggest issue may well be deploying their arsenal in a way that best maximises their talents. 

Spin bowling

TKR boast one of the strongest spin bowling attacks in the CPL. Narine remains one of the best defensive bowlers on the planet while Fawad is an underrated leg spinner – although is coming off the back of a poor set of matches in the PSL. These two frontline spinners will be supported by the left-arm spinner Pierre who has become a very consistent CPL performer in the last few years. TKR’s fourth overseas player is likely to be Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza – an interesting overseas signing – who will provide a genuine off spin option too. The 48 year-old leg spinner Pravin Tambe is also in TKR’ squad. They have all bowler-types and phases covered with their spin attack. 

Home advantage

Although there will be none of the normal vociferous Queen’s Park Oval crowds, the fact that the entire CPL is being played in Trinidad is likely to provide some kind of advantage to TKR who will be more familiar with conditions and the environment than any other team. 


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Pace bowling

To describe it as a weakness might be excessive but the clearest potential problem area for TKR is their pace bowling. Dwayne Bravo missed last year’s CPL with injury and his recent form has been up and down. He will lead the attack and this will represent a big tournament for him in his battle to remain among T20’s elite performers. He is likely to enjoy what will be tired pitches in Trinidad. Bravo will be supported by the American quick Ali Khan and the Emerging Player Jayden Seales – an 18 year-old fast bowler with a huge amount of talent but who is yet to play a T20 match. Khan had an okay season for TKR last year but has a tendency to be expensive. Seales is highly regarded and this could be a breakthrough tournament for him after a strong showing in the Under-19 World Cup. Together though, Bravo – approaching the end of his career; and Seales – at the start of his – represent a pace bowling pair with numerous questions hanging over them.

Sikandar Raza

TKR’s signing of Sikandar Raza was perplexing. Raza has shown decent power-hitting capabilities at times and is a useful bowler, so represents something of a utility player but he is not the kind of overseas signing that TKR are renowned for and it will be interesting to see how he slots into their team with Tambe a potential alternative as the fourth overseas player. 

Ageing squad

TKR’s squad is packed with quality but the large majority of those players are towards the back end of their careers and are beginning to or undergoing a period of decline. We can confidently say Narine, Bravo, Simmons and Fawad are past their best and the same probably applies to Pollard as well. Their peak performance is still superb but whether it remains good enough to see off stiff competition from the likes of Guyana’s strong and vibrant squad remains to be seen. 

Freddie Wilde is a CricViz analyst, @fwildecricket.

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