Kolkata Knight Riders Auction Preview

Kolkata Knight Riders Auction Preview

Indian Premier League IPL 2018 19 Kolkata Knight Riders Sunrisers Hyderabad KKR SRH

Squad Size: 17

Purse Remaining: 10.75 Cr

Available slots (Overseas): 8 (2)

Who have they retained: 

Despite a poor IPL 2020, KKR has kept the faith with most of their squad from the last season. They have retained the underperforming Kuldeep Yadav, who only played 5 games last season and picked up just 1 wicket. Despite relinquishing the captaincy halfway through last season, KKR has retained Dinesh Karthik as well as the U19 trio of Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti. They have also chosen to keep Pat Cummins for the price of 15.5 Cr that they paid for him in the previous auction, which may come as a surprise given that he only picked up 12 wickets in IPL 2020. 

Who have they released:

The core of their team has been untouched and only fringe players such as Tom Banton, Harry Gurney, Ali Khan, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik and Siddesh Lad have been released by the franchise.

What they need: 

KKR haven’t been able to adequately replace Chris Lynn since releasing him in 2019. Tom Banton has not shown much promise in subcontinent conditions and they dropped the Sunil Narine opening experiment halfway through last season. KKR need an explosive overseas top-order batsman to compliment Shubman Gill. He may not play every game since it is difficult to displace KKR’s overseas quartet of Russell, Morgan, Narine and Cummins but they do need someone of that ilk in their squad. KKR also require a capped Indian fast bowler given that the likes of Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti are still young and inexperienced.

Players they can sign: 

KKR has only released fringe players on small contracts, which means the franchise has only 10.85 Cr to spend in the auction, the second-fewest among teams. There is a myriad of options for an overseas batter but given that KKR only has 10 Cr to spend they will have to go bargain hunting. Since KKR are led by England’s white-ball captain Eoin Morgan and have added England’s analyst Nathan Leamon to their set-up, it would be no surprise to see them go after an English top-order player. The options they have available are Alex Hales, James Vince who recently won the Big Bash with the Sydney Sixers or Number one ranked T20I batsman Dawid Malan. 

In terms of an Indian pace bowler, the one player which they should target is Umesh Yadav. Yadav played for Kolkata Knight Riders between 2014-17 and is the standout Indian pacer in this auction compared to the likes of Varun Aaron and Ankit Rajpoot. Yadav had a poor IPL 2020 but is an experienced campaigner who could be useful in mentoring the likes of Mavi and Nagarkoti during games.