The two times champion of The Indian Premier League(IPL), Kolkata Knight Riders(KKR) done a smart shopping at the auction table in Chennai on 18th February 2021. Bangladeshi All-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan will be returning to his old franchise which will also make the fans happy.
With a purse balance of 10.75 crores, KKR were all set to bag their targets for IPL 2021. The preferable first XI of KKR was retained by the franchise but they were looking for someone to bolster their XI.
Many franchisees were excited about the All-Rounder set. KKR first tried to bag Glennn Maxwell at a minimum price but Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings took the bid to next level. Eventually, RCB purchased an Australian all-rounder for a price of 14.25 crores.
It was clear that the team was in search of an off-spin bowling all-rounder. Later they went all out for Krishnappa Gowtham but CSK roped the Indian all-rounder for a whopping price of 9.25 crores.
Last year KKR had not many choices to pick their four overseas. Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins were their obvious choices but Sunil Narine was facing some issues regarding his bowling actions and his bat was silent.
KKR had released Tom Banton, Harry gurney before the auction. The big-hitter Russell was not 100% fit during the whole tournament. So the management was looking to get like for like replacements.
Overseas Players to help KKR win IPL:
KKR have picked Shakib Al Hasan for 3.2 crores only and he is already a good choice for the first XI now. Shakib has already got a NOC from BCB and makes himself available for the whole season in IPL 2021.
Ben Cutting also been bought by KKR at 75 lakhs. Cutting has an amazing BBL season last year. He had a superb strike rate of 156.42 and also bowled well. So if Russell is unfit we can see Cutting in the field.
Domestic cricketers joining the squad this year:
The main issue with KKR always has been the lack of experienced Indian Cricketers. But in this auction, they had worked on this area too. Surprisingly they bought Harbhajan Singh at his base price of 2 crores. Varun Chakravarty and Kuldeep Yadav are already in the squad and the inclusion of Bhajji bolsters their spin attack. Indian all-rounder Pawan Negi at his base price of 50 lakhs also joined.
For their outstanding performance in the latest Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Sheldon Jackson and Venkatesh Iyer were bought by KKR. Sheldon had scored 242 runs in 5 matches. Iyer had scored 227 runs playing the same numbers of matches at a strike rate of 149.34.
Indian batsman Karun Nair also had been added to the squad but he has to perform remarkably to find his place in playing XI. Though KKR have an amazing domestic pace attack they included Vaibhav Arora, a pacer from Himachal Pradesh to increase their options.
Full KKR Squad for IPL 2021: Eoin Morgan (C), Dinesh Karthik(WK), Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakaravarthy, Tim Seifert, Shakib al Hasan, Ben Cutting, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Sheldon Jackson, Pawan Negi, Venkatesh Iyer, Vaibhav Arora.