As we are looking at the teams and their various probable targets in the IPL auction which is scheduled tomorrow, we move to Kolkata Knight Riders and take a look at their voids and the players they need to fill those voids. KKR have retained most of their players, which is supposedly their core and they aren’t expected to be actively participating in the auction because of their small purse of 10.75 crore rupees and requirement of only 8 players. However, at least 3 of those 8 players can make a massive difference in their season. In this article, we talk about what are the holes KKR needs to fill and they can only do it by buying certain players. Let’s look at 3 players Kolkata Knight Riders should target in the IPL auction.
Also read : 3 Players RCB should target in the IPL Auction
Jason Roy/Tim Seifert
KKR have got a very solid batting order but the one thing they lack is a decent and aggressive opener to accompany Shubman Gill. The Sunil Narine move as opener has expired long ago and it will be very foolish of KKR if they keep pushing him for that role. Narine can still bat, at times can be used as spin basher but only in the middle overs. KKR had tried Tom Banton in some matches last year, he failed and he was released.
There are plenty of hard hitting openers available in this auction. Hard hitting because Shubman Gill is someone who can hold his end up by playing the anchor role but they would need someone like Jason Roy for a quick start. Alex Hales is also a great option but with his personal relationships with captain Morgan, it is highly likely that KKR won’t bid for him. Other option is Aaron Finch but with the kind of year he had with RCB, KKR camp isn’t likely to show much interest in him. That leaves us to Tim Seifert among overseas opener options and knowing that he plays for Trinbago Knight Riders in CPL, KKR must have an eye on him too. He is someone who can open or can bat at 3 & 4 too and its his flexibility and his time with TKR which makes him a favorable option for KKR tomorrow.
With only 10.75 crores left in their purse, KKR should be prepared to lose their preferred options as other teams have higher budget and they should have backup plans too. In this case, Seifert for Roy seems a good backup option.
The second area that has concerned KKR in the last few seasons is an Indian fast bowler. They have had the likes of Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Prasidh Krishna but at this stage, all these fast bowlers are good enough to be the third fast bowler and not the second. They need an Indian fast bowler to partner Pat Cummins or Lockie Ferguson or both just like how RR need a second overseas fast bowler to support Archer and let the other youngsters groom without much pressure.
Umesh Yadav might have had a terrible time with RCB in 2019 & 2020 but with his experience of playing at Eden’s track for KKR and giving them good returns, he is the front runner among all the options. The other options are Tushar Deshpande, Ankit Rajpoot, Varun Aaron and Mohit Sharma and they’d have an eye on all of them too.
Even though having an Indian all rounder to bat at 7 is not an absolute necessity for KKR as Pat Cummins had produced fine numbers with bat playing at that position in IPL 2020, buying Pawan Negi can make life easier for Cummins. Cummins had scored 146 runs in the entire season at an average of 20 and KKR could play him at 7 with ease but having Pawan Negi would mean Cummins would solely be able to focus on his bowling.
Among the Indian all rounder options, Shivam Dube seems to be the best one but it would be tough for KKR to bag him. If not Negi, Gurkeerat Singh Mann is an option too but he had a terrible IPL 2020 with RCB meaning KKR will be reluctant to show faith on him. Unless they get an uncapped Indian all rounder, Pawan Negi is an option from the capped players. He can give KKR a few overs too when needed.
These are the 3 players Kolkata Knight Riders should target in the IPL Auction.