Kolkata Knight Riders came into the auction this year with the thinnest budget, but they made a number of smart moves to shore up their squad. Shakib-al-Hasan (Rs. 3.2 crores) and Harbhajan Singh (Rs. 2 crores) and Ben Cutting (75 lakhs) were drafted into the side and these players have the ability to make a difference in the season.
They retained their core that included Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins and Shubman Gill. And, they released Tom Banton, Chris Green, Siddesh Lad, Nikhil Naik, M Siddarth.
Kolkata Knight Riders complete squad:
Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Tim Seifert (wk), Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Eoin Morgan (c), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Varun CV, Kuldeep Yadav, Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer, Pawan Negi
Here is the strongest XI which KKR might field:
Openers: Shubman Gill and Sunil Narine
Once again, KKR might start with Sunil Narine at the top of the order for his rapid starts. He will be accompanied by Shubman Gill who needs to bat deep into the innings.
Middle Order: Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan, Rahul Tripathi
These three players form the engine room for KKR. Nitish Rana has been a consistent run-scorer for them, while Eoin Morgan will have the added responsibility of captaining the side. Dinesh Karthik can assume the role of the finisher and can be quite lethal in the death overs.
All-rounders: Andre Russell, Pat Cummins
The power of Andre Russell and the assured hitting of Pat Cummins can also strengthen the batting order and give the late flourish to the innings. Cummins will be needed with the ball a lot more if KKR are to make an impact this season.
Bowlers: Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
Harbhajan Singh will add teeth to the spin bowling department and he will join forces with the likes of Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine. Prasidh Krishna is now an India international and he needs to take wickets upfront with the new ball.