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
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, 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
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
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 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.