Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had a pretty rusty outing in the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Hence, the Men in Gold and Purple let go quite a few of the players in a bid to form a formidable combination.
In the auction, the Knights roped in seven players, including Pat Cummins, who fetched INR 15.50 crores, the second highest in the history of the IPL after Yuvraj Singh. Even after the auction KKR are left with a purse of INR 8.5 crores after spending INR 27.15 crores. The Knights are left with slots for a couple of domestic players.
But delving deep into their squad, a few loopholes could be found that could go on and cost them in the championship. The Knights didn’t have shortage in their purse and could’ve made a bit more judicious utilisation of their money.
In the article, let’s look at three players KKR should’ve picked in the IPL 2020 Auction:-
The Knights shelled out INR 5.25 crores for Eoin Morgan after a bidding war with the Delhi Capitals (DC). Last season, barring Andre Russell, KKR missed someone, who could up the ante with the required rate mounting. Hence, the England skipper’s inclusion not only bolsters their lineup, but also gives Russell some breathing space in the middle.
But what if Morgan develops an injury? It won’t be wrong in saying that the Knights don’t have a like-for-like replacement of the southpaw. In that scenario, KKR could have gone after Colin Ingram, who has loads of experience, batting in the middle-order.
Ingram has played 256 T20s, striking at 139.77, which is similar to Morgan’s strike-rate. Ingram had a base price of INR 50 lakhs and KKR wouldn’t have had to pay a hefty amount.
KKR has always boasted of having some quality spinners in their ranks like the wily Sunil Narine. Even this time, the franchise roped in some tweakers in the auction. However, this time around, the Knights don’t have a quality leg-spinner in the spin bowling unit.
Piyush Chawla represented them for quite some seasons and didn’t flatter to deceive, though he wasn’t the standout performer. The Knights have Tamil Nadu’s Varun Chakravarthy, but he has experience of only a solitary T20 for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) last year.
KKR had the option of picking up Adam Zampa, who had a base price of INR 1.50 crore. Instead of off-spinner Chris Green, KKR could’ve gone for the Australian spinner. The 27-year-old Zampa still holds the record for the best figures of 6/19 by a spinner in the IPL.
Andre Russell has been a stalwart for KKR, especially after the previous season where he hammered runs and sixes at will. The Jamaican was also one of the Knights’ leading wicket-taker in the T20 tournament. But the 31-year-old all-rounder can be a tad injury prone and has suffered quite a few in his career.
Albeit he played all the matches, there was every chance of him being ruled out. Last year, KKR had Carlos Brathwaite, though he couldn’t make much of an impact. But with the Knights not having Carlos for the next season, there’s no back-up of Russell.
Kolkata had the option of roping in Lewis Gregory, who recently forayed into international cricket for England. The 27-year-old Gregory has a strike-rate of 147.91 and has 87 wickets, showing his usefulness in the format.
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