Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) haven’t really been impressive in the past couple of editions of the fray. In 2019 it was a solitary show from Caribbean muscle-man, Andre Russell that kept them buoyed until the end before they failed to make the cut for the play-offs. In the following season where the campaign was shifted to UAE due to the raging virus on the loose, KKR’s best hope, Russell couldn’t really light up the scenes for the Knights and in the process, the onus of toting the team shifted to the broad shoulders of Eoin Morgan.
Despite the English skipper fighting his way out single-handedly for the Purple and Gold brigade, the team couldn’t live up to their expectations and in the process was eliminated from the tournament. With all the promising words of scouting young Indian sensations across the country, the audience focuses a lot more on upshots.
That leads the Kolkata management to re-focus their plan about their foreign contingency as it needs to bring in a couple of experienced campaigners to their eclectic blend of stars where a bubble of rebellion meets the calm eyes of Morgan.
We will take a quick look at five foreign players whom Kolkata must target in the imminent auction.
This Australian was nothing but a figment of expense in the Kings XI Punjab line-up in the preceding edition of the tournament. Though this hard-hitting Australian failed to scratch the surface in the last couple of editions, Maxwell validated himself in the India Australia series by garnering valuable runs.
As KKR’s experiment with Tom Banton went down in flames, they have managed to find additional accommodation for another foreign international. Maxwell comes in the middle-order just after Eoin Morgan. If Maxy gets going, the man who will be coming in next will be the West Indian muscle, Andre Russell. As the reputation of this duo precedes, one is very well capable of anticipating the amount of carnage that can be inflicted upon the opposition.
However, along with his menacing batting, he also comes in with stellar fielding prowess and occasional bowling ability that can prove to be extremely handy for Morgan who can get a couple of overs rolling in the middle-overs, especially with his wicket-taking ability.
Despite being an epiphany in 2018 and 2019 for Delhi Capitals, Sandeep Lamichhane failed to make inroads in the last edition of the tournament. Given the Capitals’ flamboyant foreign outfit, it was quite obvious that this Nepalese spinner wouldn’t have found himself much space to make a few ripples.
Kolkata Knight Riders banked heavily on Varun Chakravarthy’s eccentric spinning ability that helped them glide through the ranks and stay afloat until the very end. Sandeep is a new brand of leg-spinner who has flourished tremendously on Indian surfaces.
With 13 wickets from 9 games and an economy rate of 8.34, Sandeep will be a good addition to the rebellious outfit of KKR. Known for harnessing the youth, if KKR manages to forge an allegiance with this young spinning enigma, it will help their bowling cause by a good deal.
The South African fast bowler has been savouring a purple patch of form in the recent days. His coronation in the longest format of the game witnessed him scoring crucial runs and managing a solitary wicket.
Despite the emergence of Lockie Ferguson as a primary weapon in his very first match of IPL 2020, he faded away to mediocrity shortly and KKR was once again in the dark. The recent resurgence of South Africa’s raw pace that promises the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, Viljoen is a singular addition to the bend.
With 140 wickets from 126 matches and a decent economy rate of 8.12, Viljoen can be a massive support to Pat Cummins. If KKR manages to lay their claim upon the rising pace force from the Rainbow Nation, their bowling force will be shining for the good.
It was surprising to see the South African all-rounder being released by Royal Challengers Bangalore despite putting up a decent show. One of the primary reasons to ax Morris was his growing old. However, with no exuberant Champions League up for grabs, the concept of building a set team bubbling with young blood can very well be put aside.
Morris is a valuable wicket-taker and is capable of wringing out crucial scalps in the middle overs. He is also an economical bowler where he could manage a few crucial overs without slipping extra runs.
More importantly, he comes to bat at number 7 and houses a potential ability to smash a few crucial runs at a tempestuous rate. His ability to smash a few biggies out of the park in the dying embers of the batting spell makes him an even special addition to the squad.
This English hard-hitter is capable of wreaking havoc at an unrivalled pace once he gets going. Roy couldn’t make it in the preceding edition of IPL given the rising fear of Covid 19. However, it is quite obvious how he has established himself as one of the most belligerent knockers of the shortest format of the sport.
He has been a sensational moniker for Scorchers as he managed to hammer crucial runs in the Big Bash League with scores of 41, 54, and an unbeaten 74. Roy’s addition to KKR’s squad will give Morgan an additional and a reliable option to Morgan in order to shuffle his batting ranks.
He is also an exceptional fielder and can be a valuable addition to the squad given his expertise and leadership dexterity. KKR lacked experience in the last couple of editions of the tournament and that is what cost them the tournament. That is exactly why Jason Roy should be a must-buy for Kolkata Knightriders.