The star all-rounder, Shakib Al Hasan, has pulled out of the Indian Premier League. The KKR management has wasted no time in finding a replacement for the all-rounder and has signed England’s explosive opener, Jason Roy.
Shakib, who has been an integral part of KKR since 2011, cited personal reasons for his withdrawal from the tournament. The franchise had already lost the services of their captain, Shreyas Iyer, who has been ruled out of the Indian Premier League 2023 and the WTC Final due to injury.
The decision to replace Shakib with Jason Roy is exciting, as they have brought in an opener in place of the all-rounder. However, the KKR management seems to have faith in the abilities of Roy, who has been in terrific form in white-ball cricket for England and his Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise, the Quetta Gladiators. Last month, Jason Roy also helped QG chase down a mammoth total of 240 vs. Peshawar Zalmi when he smashed 145* (63), which is one of the greatest knocks in the history of T20 cricket, and Roy himself considers that to be his best T20 knock ever.
Roy has been a key member of England’s limited-overs setup for a few years now and has been instrumental in their success in recent years. He was a key member of England’s 2019 World Cup-winning squad and has also been a regular in their T20 side.
Roy’s addition to the KKR squad will undoubtedly bolster their batting, which was one of their weak areas last season. With the absence of Iyer and Shakib, the onus will be on the likes of Nitish, Russell, Narine, and Gurbaz to provide stability in the batting order.
Roy’s explosive batting at the top of the order could provide the KKR with much-needed impetus, and his presence could also take some of the pressure off Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Roy’s aggressive playing style and ability to take on the opposition bowlers from the outset could be vital in setting up big totals for KKR.
Overall, the decision to replace Shakib with Roy could be a masterstroke by the KKR management. Roy’s form and ability to score quick runs at the top of the order make him a valuable addition to the KKR squad. It remains to be seen how he copes with the conditions and pressures of the IPL, as he has played only 13 matches in the IPL, scoring only 329 runs, but if he can replicate his international record, KKR fans should be ready for a hell of a ride.