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IPL Auction Analysis, KKR: Kolkata Knight Riders spend big but have a few concerns


IPL 2024 Auction Analysis, KKR: Kolkata Knight Riders spend big but have a few concerns

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were the biggest movers in the IPL 2024 Auction with purchase of 10 players but it seems like they have failed to sort out a couple of issues.

FirstCricket Staff December 20, 2023 06:48:13 IST IPL 2024 Auction Analysis, KKR: Kolkata Knight Riders spend big but have a few concerns

KKR were the busiest team in the IPL Auction 2024, buying a total of 10 players. BCCI images

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) needed a reset and it began with the hiring of former captain Gautam Gambhir as a mentor. Led by 2012 and 2014 IPL winner, Gambhir, and CEO Venky Mysore, the Shahrukh Khan co-owned franchise splashed Rs 31.35 crore at the IPL 2024 Auction, buying a total of 10 players – more than any other team. They also set a new record for spending the most on a single player. But have they got their issues sorted and if not where did they fall short?

IPL 2024 Auction: Full squads of ten teams, purse remaining and available slots

We analyse all that in this IPL 2024 Auction analysis piece on KKR.

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Pre-auction gaps

KKR released as many as 12 players ahead of the auction including some big names like Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Shakib Al Hasan and Shardul Thakur. Having finished seventh in IPL 2023, the franchise had eyes on players who could quickly help them turn around their fortunes. Pacers and all-rounders were victims of this overhaul and those were the roles KKR needed to fill along with an Indian wicket-keeper and finisher.

The strengths

KKR bought a total of nine players at the auction but the one that made all the headlines was spending Rs 24.75 crore on Mitchell Starc as the pacer became the most expensive player of all time in IPL. Starc will be returning to IPL after a gap of eight years and there might be some concern if he is going to be as good as before, but he is an impact player and with him, Chetan Sakariya and Gus Atkinson they have tried to sort out the fast bowling issue. Considering Eden Gardens in Kolkata offers spin-friendly pitches, it seems like they have enough pace bowling arsenal now. They have also strengthened their spin attack with the purchase of Mujeeb Rahman who can replace Sunil Narine if required.

The weaknesses

Overall with Shreyas Iyer coming back and a possible lineup that will include Jason Roy, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh and Andre Russell, and a bowling lineup that will have Sunil Narine, Suyash Sharma, Varun Chakaravarthy, Mujeeb, Starc and Sakariya, it seems like KKR have a solid 14-15 players to pick their XI. But still one can’t ignore some gaping holes.

They went for KS Bharat as a replacement for wicketkeeper-batter Gurbaz. However, they may not be able to make Bharat bat in the top-order like Gurbaz when he is picked. It will be ideally Roy and other established Indian names, in which case, they would end up having Bharat playing as a finisher which is not his forte. They should have gone for another lower-order keeper-batter considering they still had Rs 1.35 crore to spend and two slots remaining. Also, they got Sherfane Rutherford in the auction who can be a replacement for Russell but can’t play in the playing XI if KKR pick two overseas batters, Russell and Starc. KKR are going to have issues while finishing games despite having Rinku. Manish Pandey the new addition is also not a finisher.

Best buy

Chetan Sakariya: So easy to pick Starc as the best buy after all he made history, but getting the Indian pacer for just Rs 50 lakh was a steal. His last two seasons have been ordinary but if backed well, the pacer could again prove to be a revelation with his left-arm angle and

Worst buy

KS Bharat: A bit harsh to label him as the worst buy. Bharat is backup wicket-keeper but if Gurbaz gets injured by any chance or loses form, KKR will struggle big time fitting in Bharat in the lower middle-order.

KKR full squad: Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Shreyas Iyer, Jason Roy, Sunil Narine, Suyash Sharma, Anukul Roy, Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer, Harshit Rana, Vaibhav Arora, Varun Chakaravarthy, KS Bharat, Chetan Sakariya, Mitchell Starc, Angkrish Raghuvanshi, Ramandeep Singh, Sherfane Rutherford, Manish Pandey, Mujeeb Rahman, Gus Atkinson

Players bought by KKR at IPL 2024 Auction: KS Bharat (Rs 50 lakh), Chetan Sakariya (Rs 50 lakh), Mitchell Starc (Rs 24.75 crore), Angkrish Raghuvanshi (Rs 20 lakh), Ramandeep Singh (Rs 20 lakh), Sherfane Rutherford (Rs 1.5 crore), Manish Pandey (Rs 50 lakh), Mujeeb Rahman (Rs 2 crore), Gus Atkinson (Rs 1 crore)

Purse left: Rs 1.35

Overseas slots available: 0

Total available slots: 2

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