Kolkata Knight Riders released seven players from last season ahead of the IPL 2021 players auction.© Twitter
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bolstered their roster by bringing in the explosive English batsman Eoin Morgan, but they failed to click as a unit, finishing fifth in last year’s Indian Premier League (IPL). Ahead of the players auction, scheduled for February 18 in Chennai, KKR kept their base set intact, but released seven players from last season, including four foreign signings. KKR is entering the IPL 2021 players auction with 10.75 crore and they will try to add more balance to their team. Last season, KKR tried several combinations at the top, but couldn’t find the perfect combination and will try to add an attacking opening batsman to partner Shubman Gill in the upcoming IPL season.
Here are some of the players that KKR could go for in the auction:
Shubman Gill is expected to start the innings for KKR, but the two-time IPL champions may be looking for an offensive partner for the young Indian batsman. KKR tried several combinations last year with players like Tom Banton, Sunil Narine and Rahul Tripathi getting the chance to open the innings with Gill, but none of the batters were able to give consistent starts. The Kolkata-based franchise can go for Aaron Finch or Evin Lewis, who can provide the party with explosive starts and help Gill anchor the innings from the other side.
With the likes of Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell in the fray, KKR is unlikely to tinker with their middle class. They also have a solid number three in Nitish Rana. Last season, despite Russell’s bad show with the bat, KKR dominated the middle overs thanks to Morgan and others who hit crucial stages.
Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine are likely to lead the spinning division for KKR in the 14th edition of IPL. Kuldeep Yadav is also there when they decide to go for a left arm spin option at every stage. If anything, KKR might want to pull out Piyush Chawla, who was released by CSK, as he can add some depth to their at bat.
World No. 1 Test bowler Pat Cummins and New Zealand pacemaker Lockie Ferguson will handle the fast bowling strike for KKR. Morgan will also receive the services of young Indian pacemakers, including Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti. Kolkata can try to add variety to their tempo attack by bringing in a few quick moves with the left arm. Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell McClenaghan may be on KKR’s radar on auction day.
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