Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan co-owned Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) is the fascinating team of the IPL. KKR has won the title twice and in the latter half of the decade was pretty much balanced and successful.
During the retention event in Mumbai, Kolkata franchise retained mystery bowler Sunil Narine and all-rounder Andre Russell.
One can also count Narine in the all-rounder’s list after seeing his blistering performance in the last season; his quick runs helped KKR to get good starts. On the other side, Russel is a destructive batsman and a handy bowler but his retention even after the one year’s ban shows KKR’s trust on him.
As KKR have retained two overseas, they can only retain three Indian players now. KKR have good bench strength but they will have to lose their overseas stars like Shakib-Al-Hasan, Chris Lynn, and Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Let’s check out the top Indian contenders on whom KKR could use the Right To Match (RTM) card:
Yusuf Pathan is a prime player for KKR for quite a long time now and he will be prioritized for the RTM card. Pathan is an explosive middle-order batsman and also a part-time off-break bowler; his experience will be crucial in the middle order. He is also having a decent domestic season so should be an easy choice for KKR management.
Manish Pandey is an unorthodox Indian cricketer and is one of the crucial members of the Indian team in the shortest format of the game. More than anything, Manish is the consistent performer for the KKR. They would not have won their second IPL trophy if it had not been for his heroics. The highest pointer of the “Yo-Yo” test from the Indian team is also super fit and do have the potential to turn the game with his fielding.
Since his last season for KKR, Kuldeep Yadav has established himself as India’s white ball specialist and became an integral part of India’s switch from using finger spinners to wrist spinners. Even with a base price of 1.5 crores, Kuldeep is expected to be amongst the hottest buys, especially as wrist spinners are in vogue. The 23-year-old has a bag of tricks that still confounds plenty of international batsmen, which make him an invaluable asset to any T20 side.