KKR adds 'Mor'e 'gun's to its arsenal
Kolkata Knight Riders It is hard to tell what comes to our mind first when we hear this name. Is it ‘the King Khan’? ‘the Eden Gardens’? or the people of Kolkata and their passion for the game of cricket? KKR had always had the best set of 11 players, who on a given day can destroy any opposition. Injuries, lack of backup players for the likes of Russell and Narine has hurt the team the most in the previous season. Another thing they lacked, was a quality seam bowler. Ferguson had the pace but failed miserably in the death overs. Since they had also released Chris Lynn, prior to the auction, they were left with an empty opening slot. One important addition to their team just before the auction was Brendon McCullum, who is now their head coach. Based on the releases they have made, we have thought the strategy for the Auction would be: They would go for a quality seam bowler, who could not only take wickets at the start but also restrict the opposition at the end: Obvious choice Pat Cummins! An explosive opening batsman alongside Shubman Gill: Lynn again? Or Finch/Tom Banton A middle order batsman who could replace Robbin Uthappa : Eoin Morgan/ Hetmyer Not many surprises in the auction, but Varun Chakravarthy for 4 crores? The leg-spinner from Tamil Nadu was an overnight sensation, when kxip had picked him for 8.4 crores making him the costliest buy in 2019 Auction. But, the leg-spinner had only one outing, where he had gone for plenty and picked up only 1 wicket. The leg-spinner known for his TNPL performances hasn’t even played first class cricket in recent times. Another surprise pick was that of Praveen Tambe. The 48-year-old is the oldest player ever to have got sold in an IPL Auction. Varun and Tambe would however be warming the bench, as the team’s best leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav would be in the playing XI Tom Banton, Rahul Tripathy, Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins and Chris Green are great buys, who are natural T20 players and they add more balance to the team. KKR added the English sensation, Tom Banton to their side as a replacement for Lynn for just 1 crore. Even McCullum was surprised when no other team challenged their bid. Rahul Tripathi is flexible, can open the batting and can also play as a middle-order batsman. Morgan’s inclusion has certainly strengthened the middle-order. Pat Cummins has a big-role to play. KKR has always had the runs on board, but it’s their bowling that let them down most of the times. Chris Green can act as backup for Narine. He is a handy middle order batsman and doesn’t give away runs easily. So, the Pace line-up of Cummins, Russell, Warrier, Prasidh Krishna and the spin duo of Kuldeep and Narine gives the captain, Dinesh Karthik many bowling options unlike the previous season. Probable Playing XI Rahul Tripathi Shubman Gill Nitish Rana Eoin Morgan Dinesh Karthik Andre Russell Sunil Narine/Chris Green Pat Cummins Sandeep Warrier Kuldeep Yadav Prasidh Krishna However, the KKR team would be tempted to have Tom Banton in the playing XI. It would be great to see how the team management goes about his selection. KKR, as they say ‘Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo’, have done well in the Auction in getting a good combination for the side. It is up to the team to fight and win the Championship.