Domestic Players in Focus for KKR in IPL 2023 Auction

Two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders will seek out more domestic players during the IPL 2023 auction or the upcoming IPL mini-auction. Simply put things into perspective, KKR does not have enough in their purse to get some significant domestic or overseas players and they have currently only 14 players on their roster. Too many plugs to fill means the KKR management has to do away with unrecognized domestic players and expect them to perform. 

If domestic players are what KKR is looking for then they have the perfect man as their coach. Chandrakant Pandit has worked with multiple teams in the domestic circuit and knows players who can bring value to the team. 

Here is how we feel KKR is going to approach this IPL auction. 

Who has KKR Retained?

KKR has retained only 14 players from their previous IPL campaign. In addition, they were one of the most active teams during the IPL transfer session. Here is the list of players that KKR has retained – 

  • Shreyas Iyer (Captain)
  • Umesh Yadav
  • Varun Chakravarthy
  • Tim Southee
  • Andre Russell
  • Rinku Singh
  • Anukul Roy
  • Sunil Narine
  • Venkatesh Iyer
  • Harshit Rana
  • Nitish Rana
  • Rahmanullah Gurbaz (traded from DC)
  • Lockie Ferguson (traded from GT)
  • Shardul Thakur (traded from GT)

How Much Money Does KKR Have?

KKR has the least purse amount going into the IPL 2023 mini-auction. They only have INR 7.05 crores. With a maximum of 11 slots to fill, including 3 overseas slots, the KKR management will have their tasks cut out in the approaching auction. 

Skills KKR is Looking for

  • A domestic top-order batter who can either accompany Venkatesh Iyer or Rahmanullah Gurbaz at the top
  • A death bowler to complement Russell, Narine and Ferguson in case one of them (depends if they play all 3) has a bad day
  • A domestic wicket-keeper as a backup option against Rahmanullah Gurbaz
  • Like-for-like domestic players to replace their first-choice players in case of an injury

Who can KKR Target?

As a top-order batsman, KKR can target the likes of Phil Salt or Kusal Perera in the upcoming auction. However, due to their low-amount purse, they might not get either of them as other teams might also be eyeing them. The same goes for reputed domestic players like Mayank Agarwal and N Jagadeeshan. For an all-rounder, they can look at David Wiese who can play Russell’s role as a power-hitter and a death bowler with ease. 

However, the only thing that is going to haunt KKR is the amount they have left in their purse. Yet, optimism remains as their head coach knows every nook and cranny of the Indian domestic circuit. He might initiate some “out-of-the-box” buys and who knows 2023 can be their 3rd time holding the trophy. Rajasthan Royals have done it in the past. 

Let us just wait and let things unravel at the upcoming IPL auction.

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