The Kolkata Knight Riders team management impressed everyone with their picks in the recently concluded IPL 2023 auction. KKR reached Kochi for the IPL mini-auction 2023 with the lowest purse value but at the end of the day, it seemed they did pretty well in filling the gaps in their squad. KKR made some smart moves and bought players who can replace their first XI in case of any emergencies.
KKR entered the TATA IPL auction 2023 with the lowest purse value – INR 7.05 crores. Let us find out the players they bought and why many experts believe that they did some smart buying this year.
KKR bought N Jagadeeshan in the auction for merely INR 90 lakhs. This is one of the smartest buys in this year’s auction. Jagadeeshan has been in red-hot form in the domestic tournaments. He recently scored 5 consecutive centuries in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022, thus, becoming the first Indian to achieve this feat. He hit a 114-ball double century against Arunachal Pradesh and ended up with an individual score of 277. He was a part of the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2022. Getting an in-form top-order batter for 90 lakhs was a super deal for the knights.
Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan was bought by KKR for his base price of INR 1.5 crores. No team showed any interest to pick Shakib during the initial and accelerated rounds of the IPL 2023 auction. However, in the final phase of the accelerated auction round, KKR put up its hands and bought him for his base price. Shakib brings stability to KKR’s middle order and has vast experience. A good buy indeed for KKR.
The Bangladeshi wicket-keeper batsman is also an in-form batsman and he showed what he is capable of doing in the shortest format of the game during a T20 world cup game against India. He is a terrific batsman and a clean striker of the ball. He is brilliant with the bat in the powerplay and KKR can use him with either Venkatesh Iyer or Jagadeeshan to set the platform for the big hitters later on. At base price, Litton Das was also a smart buy from the KKR management.
David Wiese is a handy Namibian cricketer who can both give KKR some handy lower-order runs and 2-3 overs in each match. Wiese is a powerful striker of the cricket ball and can be a like-for-like replacement for Andre Russell, given his past injury records. Wiese with the ball also solves another problem for KKR – death bowling. Their death bowling last year failed in many crucial matches leading to their elimination from the qualifiers. Again a handy purchase for a base price of INR 1 crore.
The case of Mandeep Singh can be a little tricky. In the past, Mandeep has represented many franchises but he was constantly rested and played. We haven’t seen him perform to his potential due to this very reason. In the limited matches he played, he failed to impress the spectators. However, with limited resources this time around, KKR can give him a long run (like Rahane last year) and it will be interesting to see how he performs. For INR 50 lakhs an experienced player like Mandeep Singh, KKR would not have let that go.
The KKR management also made some surprise purchases that were expected from them as their head coach knows the domestic circuit like the back of his hand. During the auction, KKR picked up Kulwant Khejroliya, Vaibhav Arora and Suyash Sharma who can provide them with extra firepower in their squad.
Kolkata Knight Riders Probable Playing 11
Here goes the probable playing 11 for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2023 –
- N Jagdeeshan and Venkatesh Iyer (Opening)
- Shreyas Iyer (at 3)
- Nitish Rana (at 4)
- Rinku Singh (at 5)
- Andre Russell (at 6)
- Shardul Thakur (at 7)
- Sunil Narine (at 8)
- Tim Southee (at 9)
- Lockie Ferguson (at 10)
- Umesh Yadav/Varun Chakravarthy (at 11)