IPL 2014 Auctions Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders are the most underperforming team in the IPL history. Inspite of having a great team in the previous editions, the Shah Rukh Khan owned outfit had reached the knockout round only twice out of which they went on to win the 2012 edition. Often they fail to get their team composition right and that replicates on the team’s performances. They are let down by the quality that the local cricketers bring in. It is evident by the fact that the Indians fail to back the hard work put in by the overseas players.
In the 2014 IPL player retention, Kolkata Knight Riders retained only two players, one is their skipper Gautam Gambhir and the other one is the mystery bowler Sunil Narine. With two retentions already made, the Knights will have 38 Million with them when going into the auctions and they can use the Joker Card twice to buy back the players from their previous squads. Here is the list of players who are in line to get signed by the Knight Riders.
The wicket at the Eden Gardens has had a reputation of being slow as the game progresses. This has been the case for Kolkata Knight Riders in the previous editions as well. Gambhir and co has adapted to the conditions well and now the team management will look to sign a bowler who can vary his pace consistently. Kevon Cooper is one such player who mixes his variation well. He too has a good Yorker in his armoury. He is also a pinch hitter who can score runs at a quick rate and adding to these, he is a live wire on the field. He might be a good addition to the KKR side.
Sunil Narine has been KKR’s trump card for the past 2 years. He has been the one who did a bulk of work for the team. But the sad thing is he didn’t any support from his teammates. So it is more likely that Kolkata will look to sign a quality spinner to work in tandem with Narine, Nathan McCullam might be one KKR will be tempted to go for. McCullum’s inclusion in the playing XI will reduce the work load of Sunil Narine. McCullam has the ability to bowl well in the power play overs. This also allows Narine to bowl in the later stages of the innings.
When Virender Sehwag is on song, the opposition has no other way but to go for covers. But the current status on Sehwag is that he is dropped from the Indian team and had a poor domestic season that led his franchise Delhi Daredevils not to retain him for the seventh edition of the IPL. It is certain that all the eight teams will love having the Nawab of Najafgarh at the top of their batting order. Among the eight teams, KKR have a good chance of signing the dasher. KKR skipper Gambhir is a long-time friend of Sehwag and both these players have had some memorable partnerships in the past for Delhi, Delhi Daredevils and also for the Indian Cricket team. It will be very interesting to see the deadly partnership again.
Tim Southee is not a new entrant into the Indian Premier League band wagon as he was a member of the Chennai Super Kings outfit in the 2010 edition. Later he was released from the side. This time around, he gets a look in into the auction pool courtesy his good performances over the last few months. Kolkata Knight Riders will look to sign a bowler who can bowl at a good pace with a proper accuracy with his line and length. He will be a perfect foil for Sunil Narine in the slog overs. With the amount of money KKR have, they can go for a big signing for the likes of Morne Morkel, Mitchell Johnson or Mitchell Starc, but signing Tim Southee will be a good addition for the side.
Apart from these players, the Knight Riders will look to sign a decent middle order batsman in the mould of Steven Smith along with some good local talents to complete the XI. With two Joker Cards in their kitty, it is certain that they will look to buy back any two among Brendon McCullam, Shakib al Hasan, Jacques Kallis and Manoj Tiwary.
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