IPL auction strategy of KKR: Unlike many other teams, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will get outbid multiple times at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 auction set to take place on February 18. The Eoin Morgan-led and Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise is left with Rs 10.75 crore, which is the lowest along with Sunrisers Hyderabad. However, unlike SRH, the Kolkata franchise have problems aplenty but lack the money to solve them. KKR have eight slots available including two overseas places available. So what will their strategy be for the mini-auction in Chennai?
IPL 2021 auction strategy of KKR: Hiring for an opener
Kolkata had one of the worst-performing opening pair. Shubman Gill and Sunil Narine or Nitish Rana were KKR’s opening pair for the IPL 2020 season. While Shubman Gill continued to perform, it was his partner at the other side, who struggled. The instability in the opening batsmen had cost the two-times dearly as their middle-order batsmen were exposed to the new ball early in matches, something which they were not used to.
KKR will look for an overseas top-order batsman who they can pair up with Gill. They have Tom Seifert but would also look for a backup. One of the best option can be Dawid Malan. The World No.1 can provide them with the big starts that they lacked in IPL 2020 and also give Gill time to settle and play knocks freely. However, it will not be an easy buy.
A lot of teams have Malan on their radar and therefore, KKR will need a bit of luck to sign the England batsman.
KKR can also look for Jason Roy or Aaron Finch as an opening option.
IPL 2021 auction strategy of KKR: Back up for Andra Russell
There are not many batsmen who can instil fear into bowlers heart in IPL. And Russell sits right in top three of this list — along with Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard. The West Indies batsman can send the ball over the ropes from the very first ball. However, 2020 was not a very productive year for 5 ft 11 inch 32-year-old.
In 10 games he scored mere 117 runs at an average of 13 runs. This was his lowest score in last five IPL editions. His fitness has been a concern for KKR, and they lack a back-up for the power-hitting all-rounder.
There will not be many players available at the auctions who can replace him. But there a some who can be a good back up plan if Russell gets injured or struggles with form.
If KKR is looking for a fast-bowling all rounder, they can look for Australia’s Cameron Green, who will be coming into the auctions for the first time.
Another big name on KKR’s radar would be Bangladesh’ Shakib al Hasan, who will be returning to IPL after a two-year ban. The former World No.1 has played for KKR in 2011.
It will be a big headache for Kolkata’s team management which problem to solve at IPL auctions.
Retained Players: Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Tim Seifert
Released Players: Chris Green, Harry Gurney, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Siddhesh Lad, Tom Banton