The inaugural edition of Major League Cricket (MLC) kicks off on Friday, July 14th, and will run until July 30. A total of six teams will compete in the tournament for the coveted title.
In the league round, each team will face off against the other five teams, playing one match each. The top four teams from this stage will then advance to the playoffs.
The opening game of the league will see the Texas Super Kings lock horns against the Los Angeles Knight Riders on July 13 at Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas.
As the sister franchise of the Kolkata Knight Riders, the Los Angeles Knight Riders have assembled a robust squad featuring renowned players like Martin Guptill, Andre Russell, and other seasoned professionals.
Ahead of Los Angeles Knight Riders’ opening game, let’s have a look at the squad and their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats:
Los Angeles Knight Riders MLC 2023 Squad
Sunil Narine (C), Jaskaran Malhotra (WK), Saif Badar, Nitish Kumar, Unmukt Chand, Adam Zampa, Spencer Johnson, Andre Russell, Gajanand Singh, Ali Sheikh, Martin Guptill, Jason Roy, Shadley van Schalkwyk, Bhaskar Yadram, Corne Dry, Rilee Rossouw, Lockie Ferguson, Ali Khan.
Their squad selection couldn’t have been better, with an exceptional batting unit and a fiery bowling unit that form the team’s greatest strengths. The batting unit offers an array of options, including powerhouses like Martin Guptill, Jason Roy, Rilee Rossouw, and Unmukt Chand.
Furthermore, the team is fortified with exceptional all-rounders in West Indies’ Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, who bring a plethora of experience to the team.
In the bowling unit, Lockie Ferguson, Ali Khan, and Adam Zampa are some of their big names. While Ferguson and Ali Khan will lead their pace attack, Australia spinner Adam Zampa, along with captain Sunil Narine, takes charge of the spin duties.
An area of concern for the team revolves around the captaincy of Sunil Narine, whose recent performances have been below par. In the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League, while representing Kolkata Knight Riders, his performance was a far cry from his best. There is a legitimate concern that his poor form could have an adverse impact on his leadership as well.
Unmukt Chand, who led the India Under-19 side to victory in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in 2012 held in Australia, decided to retire from Indian cricket and shifted to the United States for better opportunities.
This inaugural edition of Major League Cricket serves as an excellent platform for him to showcase his skills, and make a strong case for selection in the USA national squad.
They must be wary of the potential threat posed by the inconsistent performances of many players in their squad in the recent competition they participated in as they enter this tournament. With the majority of their star players enduring a slump in form in recent tournaments, Jason Roy being the exception, there is a real possibility that a simultaneous dip in form could result in disaster for the team.
With their meticulously balanced and exceptional squad, if each player lives up to their potential, there will be no stopping this team in the tournament. They are poised to become the top contender and clinch the title.
Los Angeles Knight Riders Predicted Playing XI
Jason Roy, Martin Guptill, Unmukt Chand, Jaskaran Malhotra (WK), Nitish Kumar, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine (C), Adam Zampa, Lockie Ferguson, Ali Khan, Ali Sheikh