Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) should appoint Shubman Gill as their skipper from IPL 2021 onwards, feels commentator and former KKR batter Aakash Chopra.
Chopra made this observation while talking about the road ahead and the strategies to be adopted in future for the Kolkata-based franchise in a video shared on his Facebook page.
Aakash Chopra: Kolkata Knight Riders Should Retain Andre Russell, Varun Chakravarthy And Shubman Gill
Aakash Chopra started by pointing out that the Kolkata Knight Riders should retain only three players for the next season of the IPL 2021 as a mega auction is likely before it starts.
“I thought a lot and I feel that there are only three players they should be retaining. If they retain any more, they will lose money from the kitty and will not be able to build a good team,” Aakash Chopra said.
The renowned commentator named T20 specialist big hitter Andre Russell as the first player, the Kolkata Knight Riders should retain even though IPL 2020 might have been an absolute let down for him as he managed only 117 runs averaging a pathetic 13 in 10 games in contrary to previous season in 2019 where he managed 510 runs in 14 games averaging a staggering 56.66 at a monumental strike rate of 204.81.
“The first name is Andre Russell. This year may not have been good but he is a T20 rockstar. If you release him and try to buy him at the auction, he will be very expensive, so it is better to retain him. You also create a relationship with the player and tell him that he is an integral part of the team,” the renowned commentator went on to say.
The former Kolkata Knight Riders player picked Varun Chakravarthy whose first season in KKR colours saw him pick 17 wickets in 13 games as the other player the franchise should retain, with the mystery spinner likely to go for huge bucks if put back into the auction.
“The second player I can see is Varun Chakravarthy. He is taking wickets, he is a mystery bowler and is accurate, If he goes into the auction, he will be very expensive, everybody needs a mystery spinner and Varun Chakravarthy is that guy for you,” he quiped.
He chose Shubman Gill as probably the first player the Kolkata Knight Riders will attempt to keep hold of.
“Last but not the least, who could actually be their first retention. Name is Shubman Gill.”
Aakash Chopra wants Shubman Gill to take over the leadership role for the Kolkata Knight Riders. He was the highest run-scorer with 440 runs in 14 games for KKR who finished 5th in IPL 2020 and missed out on qualifying for playoffs by a whisker.
Aakash Chopra: Kolkata Knight Riders Should Appoint Shubman Gill As Captain And Not Continue With Eoin Morgan
Aakash Chopra opined that the Kolkata Knight Riders should appoint Shubman Gill as their captain with the long-term objective in mind and not continue with Eoin Morgan who was appointed skipper midway in IPL 2020 after Dinesh Karthik quit captaincy to focus on batting.
“And I am saying about Shubman Gill, that they should appoint him as their captain. They have to make the team for the next three years. I don’t feel they should make Eoin Morgan the captain. They shouldn’t make him the captain as he is an overseas player, they can play him if they want but they shouldn’t make him the captain,” the former cricketer asserted.
He added that the Kolkata Knight Riders could follow a similar approach to what the Delhi Capitals did with Shreyas Iyer in 2018. The IPL 2020 finalists helped the 25-year-old batsman mature, with the coaching staff handling the majority of the burden in the first few years.
“They should build the team around Shubman Gill if they want to look ahead for the next three years. The way Delhi Capitals did with Shreyas Iyer, gave him a strong coaching staff so that he gets the support and after that over a period of time, you graduate, you mature into a captain, that’s what I am expecting from Shubman Gill,” Chopra remarked.
Aakash Chopra reckoned that the Kolkata Knight Riders should neither release spinner all-rounder Sunil Narine and added that Pat Cummins who disappointed in bowling in IPL 2020 considering the hefty price tag should be let go of as well.
“They should let Sunil Narine go. I don’t think they should buy him back also. Pat Cummins was very expensive, they should release him as well,” he added.
He is also not in favour of the franchise retaining former skipper Dinesh Karthik as he is unlikely to be around for the next three years.
“Dinesh Karthik I don’t think will be there for you for the next three years, so they should release him as well,” Chopra further added.
The 43-year-old suggested Nitish Rana as one of the players for whom the Kolkata Knight Riders could use the RTM card on while observing that the franchise might prefer using it on Sunil Narine and Eoin Morgan.
“They can think about Nitish Rana for using the Right to Match card because he has quite a few years left ahead of him. They might use the RTM card for Sunil Narine but then that’s about it. They can use RTM card for Eoin Morgan as well if they want him,” he stated.
Aakash Chopra concluded that KKR need to build their team around Shubman Gill while letting go of Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins and Dinesh Karthik.
“But according to me, the next course of action for KKR should be to make Shubman Gill as the captain and build the team around him. They should leave Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins and Dinesh Karthik,” Chopra concluded.
It will be a hugely challenging call if the Kolkata Knight Riders decide to appoint Shubman Gill as their captain since the youngster hardly have any experience of captaincy even at the domestic level and captaincy may hurt his batting.