Category Archives: KKR

IPL 2018: Players Kolkata Knight Riders could retain using RTM

All rumours were put to rest as all the Indian Premier League franchises announced the name of players they have retained using the pre-auction retention option. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have retained the West Indies duo Sunil Narine and Andre Russell for 12.5 crores and 8.5 crores respectively. They have spent 21 crores out of the given 80 crore budget.

An IPL franchise can retain a maximum of five players using one of the two combinations – three pre-auction retentions and two Right to match(RTM) card or two pre-auction retentions and three Right to match (RTM) card.

Retaining only two players allows them to use three RTM cards in the auction and with players such as Gautam Gambhir, Manish Pandey, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa in the pool.


IPL 2018: Kolkata Knight Riders captaincy options


The burning question in the lead up to IPL auction 2018 was who KKR would be looking to make their leader for the upcoming edition of the T20 extravaganza.

Having observed the KKR management for the last 10 years, I have a clear-cut answer to this question. But before I answer this, let us assess their situation with respect to IPL auction 2018.

It’s evident that KKR let go of Gambhir due to his age and it’s highly unlikely that he will be retained through RTM. If KKR wanted Gambhir in their team, they would have retained him prior to the auction. Period.

Now, since Gambhir was released in spite of his success, it’s unlikely that someone of similar age will replace him. This eliminates Brendon McCullum, Faf Du Plessis etc. from the fold.

But what about Kane Williamson, who has had reasonable success as New Zealand’s captain? The biggest drawback here is he is a unidimensional foreign player. If we look at KKR’s policy of buying international players post 2011, they have tended to either procure all-rounders or specialist bowlers, like Jacques Kallis, Shakib-al-Hasan, Ryan ten Doeschate, and Andre Russell. The specialist batsmen have mostly been Indian (barring a few exceptions like Eoin Morgan/Chris Lynn).

Even their latest bid to promote Sunil Narine to open only proves that they want their foreign internationals to be all-rounders. A team with such a line of thought are very unlikely to make a foreign international batsman their team captain. Thus, the chances for Williamson to lead the Kolkata side look slim.

Among the Indians in the auction pool, the noteworthy leaders are Shikhar Dhawan, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane. Dhawan though was horrific as captain of SRH in IPL 2014 and his batting form dropped severely. He was replaced by Darren Sammy for the 2014 edition midway, before being replaced permanently by the ever-so-successful David Warner in IPL 2015.

Ashwin has captained Tamil Nadu relatively well in the past. But KKR won’t be willing to splurge much on Ashwin considering the fast, bouncy wicket of Eden Gardens won’t be conducive to his off-spin. A fact to be kept in mind here is that Ashwin did not pick up a single wicket against a relatively weak Sri Lankan side at Eden Gardens a month ago. That simply limits his chances of being picked by KKR in the auction. Now, that leaves Rahane.

Rahane showed glimpses of aggressive captaincy against Australia in the final Test of Border Gavaskar Trophy 2017. In the absence of an injured Virat Kohli, Rahane, being the captain for the Test match, decided to field a wrist spinner (Kuldeep Yadav) ahead of an additional seamer contrary to most expectations and that decision turned out to be so successful that it swung the series in favour of India.

Now, let us come to Rahane’s batting statistics. He boasts an average of over 50 in the SENA countries (South Africa, England, New Zealand, Australia). It’s no surprise that the Eden Gardens wicket with its seam & bounce will be an ideal ally for Rahane’s exceptional batting skills.

Now, it’s unlikely for Rajasthan to use their RTM card on Rahane. They already retained Steve Smith for INR 12.5 crore (Smith will definitely be the captain of RR). Now, if they had wanted Rahane in their team, they would have retained him as well, as that would have meant a further deduction of only INR 8.5 crore. Rahane not being retained by RR indicates one of two things. Either he felt he would go for a better price in the auction and RR were unwilling to pay the extra amount to retain him, or the Royals felt they would be able to get Rahane for a cheaper price in the auction. However, if he goes for more than INR 8.5 crore, RR are unlikely to squander an RTM on him.

KKR, on the other hand, will splurge on Rahane, just like they did on Gambhir (11.04 crore) before IPL 2011, and will be desperate to have him in the side as a long-term leader. Thus, according to me, Rahane will lead KKR in IPL 2018.

IPL 2018: Kolkata Knight Riders retained Players


Kolkata Knight Riders have retained two players: Sunil Narine and Andre Russell. They go into auctions with three Right To Match.

Retention 1 – Sunil Narine (₹ 12 Crs)
Retention 2 – Andre Russell (₹ 8.5 Crs)

Now they are left with ₹ 59 Crs + 3 RTM

IPL 2018: Players Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) should retain

KKR always carry a charm into the tournament since it’s owned by the Badshah of Bollywood. It’s one of the most celebrated teams in the Indian Premier League and has bagged the trophy twice.

KKR would be hoping to put up a decent performance in the next edition and snatch the title from Mumbai Indians. Kolkata also has a big lot of star players and hence picking 5 from there would be a big headache for KKR.

With the IPL auctions set to take place early next year, all the teams are looking to bolster their squads for the biggest cricketing extravaganza.

Here are the players that Kolkata Knight Riders should absolutely retain (3 retention + 2 RTM card) for the 2018 season:

1. Andre Russel

Andre Russell

The West Indian all rounder is about everything a T20 side must have. He can do wonders with both, the bat and the ball. His batting style is just fearless and he likes to hit the ball long distances. With the bowl too he is as good as being used as a fifth bowling option.

So little has been expressed of his talent that many still moan the fact that KKR snatched its leading wicket-taker for just Rs. 60 lakhs in 2016.

Andre Russell’s all round skill set adds heavily to the KKR camp and there is no reason why KKR would let him go. His international career was hurdled by a one year ban due to doping charges but he would be available for the 2018 IPL selections.

2. Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir, the skipper, is probably the most important player in the KKR setup. In 2011, Gambhir received a record-breaking bid of 2.4 million US dollars from KKR, making him the most expensive player at the time.

Since then, he has led KKR to two IPL triumphs in 2012 and 2014, and to the playoffs in 2011, 2016 and 2017. Gambhir is one of the highest run scorers in the history of the IPL, with 3,634 runs in 131 innings at an average exceeding 30 and a strike rate of nearly 125.

3. Chris Lynn

Chris Lynn

The Australian right-hander was part of the Knight Riders setup when they won the League both in 2012 and 2014. But he was not much in view with a purple jersey on only for some fielding when once he showed great acrobatic skills, But 2017 has been the year of this man in purple. He got a chance to open and he utilised it.

Chris Lynn was bought by KKR in 2014 auction for ₹1,30,00,000

4. Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav

Though the left-arm chinaman bowler was not included in the playing XI for the last few matches, given his promise, Kuldeep might just be the bowler KKR might be tempted to retain for the next season. Chinaman bowlers are a rarity these days and given his skills Kuldeep might be a pivotal option for KKR in the future years.

He was bought by KKR for ₹40,00,000 in 2014 IPL Auction

He’s been more of a magician with the ball every time he has represented India in T20s. If someone has the caliber to keep the likes of Jadeja and Ashwin away from the squad then you got to believe blindly in their talent. KKR must retain Kuldeep Yadav.

He has been a part of the KKR set up for the last 3 years but it was the first season where he got enough matches for the franchise. He went for a few runs in a couple of matches but is seriously a prospect for the future. If I was the team owner I would have definitely retained the youngster who happens to be the one and only china-man bowler in the country.

5. Manish Pandey

Manish Pandey

Manish Pandey was bought by KKR in 2014 for ₹1,70,00,000. Since his addition to the team he has played some great knocks for the KKR and has won fortunes for them.

Manish Pandey is a dependable batsman and his potential has even been recognised by the National Selectors. Manish Pandey has been a regular with the national side for a while now and you got to say, he has earned his place in the national side. Manish Pandey is a great asset to have for T20 cricket especially.