Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), two time winners of IPL, narrowly missed out on the playoff spot last season after losing out on the net run-rate to Royal Challengers Bangalore. Ahead of the IPL 2021 auction, KKR have released only five players and have kept the core of their team unchanged.
Released: M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Siddhesh Lad, Chris Green, Tom Banton
Squad: Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan (c), Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Ali Khan, Tim Seifert
Slots Remaining:7 (1 overseas)
Kolkata Knight Riders now have Rs 10.85 crore in their wallet for IPL 2021 Auction. A few players Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) can target in the auction are:
Mujeeb ur Rahman
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have three quality spinners in their squad. Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine form the core of the spin bowling department. However, in the past season, Kuldeep Yadav did not make the playing eleven in most of the matches, whereas Sunil Narine was ineffective with the ball.
Hence, KKR will be looking forward to bolster their spin bowling department. Mujeeb ur Rahman who was released by KXIP ahead of the auction can be a potential target for Kolkata. The Afghanistan spinner can deliver up front as well as towards the end of the innings.
Kolkata Knight Riders could never get their opening batting combination correct in the last season. Shubman Gill was the only opener who was consistent enough to hold his spot in the team. Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Sunil Narine all had their fair share of failures while opening the innings. Aaron Finch, who was released by RCB, will be under the radar of several teams going into the auction. The Australian captain can be targeted by KKR as Finch is a top-class T20I batsman and can provide stability to Kolkata’s top order.
Jason Roy, the explosive English batsman was released by Delhi Capitals, before going into the IPL auction. If Roy confirms his availability for the 2021 season, he will be targeted by several teams in the auction. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) can consider bidding for Jason Roy if they want to bolster their batting department with some world-class talent.
Cameron Green has impressed one and all after he made his Test debut against India in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar series. Andre Russell is known to struggle with injuries and was certainly not at his best during the last IPL season. Considering the fact that games come thick and fast in IPL, KKR might consider adding a cover for Russell. Cameron Green is a great option to have in the squad given that he can bowl four overs and strike devastating blows with the bat.
Kolkata Knight Rider might consider the possibility of bringing in Dawid Malan who can open the innings alongside Shubman Gill. Malan is the world’s top T20I batsman and as a result he will be one of the most sought after names in the auction. More importantly, Eoin Morgan, captain of the T20I team, might prefer bringing in his fellow Englishman.