Players Bought, Retained, and Released by Kolkata Knight Riders
The IPL 2020 auction is done and dusted, and all eight franchises have filled their squads with the desired players and now begin preparations for the tournament.
As for the Kolkata Knight Riders, they made some bold decisions in the off-season as they parted ways with the likes of Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa and Piyush Chawla.
KKR headed into the auction with a purse of Rs.35.65 Crore and a total of 11 slots to be filled. Their first buy of the day was England skipper Eoin Morgan, who was bought for INR 5.25 Crore after they withstood some stiff competition from Delhi Capitals.
The Knight Riders then pursued an opening batsman but lost Aaron Finch to the Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, after seeing all the action unfold in front of their eyes, KKR jumped in for Pat Cummins out of nowhere and bagged him from RCB’s grasps for a record sum of Rs.15.50 Crore, making him the most expensive foreign player in IPL auction history.
Cummins previously played for KKR in their title-winning 2014 season but has not played in the league for the last two years. Similarly, Morgan’s last appearance in the IPL also came in 2017 but returns to Kolkata on the back of his strong leadership skills along with his power-hitting strength in the middle order.
Other Significant Purchases
With half their budget already spent on Cummins, the Knight Riders splashed a hefty four crore on the uncapped Indian mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy.
This was capped off by the purchase of Tom Banton for Rs 1 crore followed by Chris Green, Rahul Tripathi, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik and 48-year-old leg-spinner Pravin Tambe, who were all bought for a combined total of just Rs.1.40 Cr.
On the other hand, KKR had also traded in 27-year-old batsman Siddhesh Lad from Mumbai Indians last month prior to the auction.
Meanwhile, it is also to be noted that Kolkata did not sign a backup all-rounder for talisman Andre Russell. The Jamaican’s fitness has been a concern this year and if anything happens to him next season, they will not have a like for like replacement available in their squad.
KKR coach Brendon McCullum confirmed that Dinesh Karthik will remain the captain for the forthcoming season. The two-time IPL Champions will look to bounce back after a disappointing IPL 2019 campaign where they finished fifth with 12 points and narrowly missed out on the Playoffs.
On that note, here is a look at the Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2020 squad:-
Dinesh Karthik (c), Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Sunil Narine, Harry Gurney, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Varun Chakravarthy, Tom Banton, Rahul Tripathi, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Praveen Tambe, Nikhil Naik