Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had a terrible start to the IPL. They finished sixth twice and last once in the first three years. However, a complete overhaul of the team and a change in captaincy changed everything. Results started going their way.
KKR made it to the playoffs for the first time in 2011 and then won the title in 2012 and 2014 under Gautam Gambhir’s leadership. They have also made it to the playoffs in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Hence, they have been a pretty successful team in the IPL’s rich history.
However, some players have excelled like never before while some have struggled. There have been players who have come and gone and haven’t lived up to expectation.
Here we look at five worst signings by KKR in the IPL history
It’s surprising that one of the all-time Australian greats like Ricky Ponting played a mere 10 IPL games. Despite having a decent T20 record, the former Aussie skipper played just two seasons in the IPL. In fact, he was the first player to score a T20I fifty.
However, Ponting was a flop in the IPL. In the first season, he was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders for a sum of $400,000. He was a tad disappointed as he didn’t attract a lot of bids. The two-time World Cup-winning captain expected a better price and also expressed his disappointment.
Ponting played just four games in the first edition of the IPL. He could score a mere 39 runs at an average of 9.75. In fact, his strike-rate (73.58) wasn’t great as well. The Aussie skipper played just one more edition of the IPL after this one which was in 2013 (for Mumbai Indians).
Eoin Morgan has played for four IPL teams so far. In his first stint with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), he played just six games. However, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) who bought him for a sum of $350,000 gave him a long rope.
The Irish-born left-hander played two seasons (2011 and 2013) for KKR. He played 26 games across the two seasons and was one of the permanent overseas players in the XI. However, Morgan failed to make it big. In 22 innings, the middle-order batsman scored just 444 runs at an average of 22.20. Moreover, his strike-rate (124.36) wasn’t effective either.
Hence, Morgan couldn’t adapt to the KKR environment. He hasn’t been able to adapt to any team for that matter. But KKR gave him a long rope and the England superstar couldn’t make it count. Thus, he may be termed as one of the worst signings by the Kolkata franchise.
A few years ago, Mitchell Starc was renowned as a white-ball beast. He was absolutely lethal in the shorter formats. However, his switch to Test cricket saw him miss a lot of white-ball cricket, including the IPL. Be it for Australia or in the IPL, Starc was either rested or injured.
It was in 2014, when Starc was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for INR 5 crore. He played a couple of seasons and was their premier fast bowler. Across two seasons (2014 and 2015), the left-arm pacer took 34 wickets. However, he has remained absent from the league since the end of the eighth season.
He was injured for the next couple of editions. In 2018, he was one of the hot picks. Kolkata Knight Riders bought him for a hefty amount of INR 9.4 crores. However, Starc never turned up at the IPL as he was injured just ahead of the league. Thus, given his history with injuries, KKR should’ve known that and should’ve been a little wiser in spending such a big amount.
Here is another cricketer who played for four IPL teams despite featuring in only the first seven seasons. The first of those was Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and it wasn’t a fruitful stint for the left-arm spinner. Murali Kartik was bought for a sum of $425,000 which was more than what KKR paid to acquire the services of Ricky Ponting.
Kartik was KKR’s lead spinner for three years but he returned with underwhelming numbers. The left-arm spinner played 26 games for KKR in the first three seasons but picked up just 16 wickets at an average of 36.31. While his economy of 6.62 was good, his inability to pick wickets in the middle overs hurt KKR.
Thus, they decided to let him go after the 2010 season. He played for three more teams in the next four years before calling it quits. Hence, Kartik was one of KKR’s worst signings as he simply failed to deliver.
One of the most popular voices in the Hindi commentary box today was known to blunt out the new ball in the early years of the 21st century. A lot of people remember Aakash Chopra as the one who had a solid technique and a good temperament. However, he just couldn’t make it big in international cricket.
In fact, he couldn’t excel in the IPL either. While he had a great first-class and List ‘A’ record, Chopra never seemed to have the game to play T20 cricket. In all, he played 21 T20 games and accumulated 334 runs. However, those came at an average of 18.55 and a strike-rate of 91.25.
Out of those 21 games, he played seven of them for KKR. In those seven IPL games, all he could score were 53 runs at a lowly average of 8.83 and a strike-rate of 74.65. Hence, he was a big flop in the first season where KKR had bought him for a sum of $30,000.
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