The players’ auction for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 will take place in Kolkata on December 19.
Ahead of the auction, all the eight franchises have released and retained their players, which includes two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who released big names like Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Piyush Chawla, Carlos Brathwaite.
Due to the failures of star players, Riders didn’t qualify for the playoffs in the last season and finished at the 5th spot.
KKR have also changed the coaching staff and brought in Brendon McCullum and Kyle Mills as the head coach and bowling coach, respectively. They also appointed Australia’s David Hussey as the chief mentor.
Since KKR have shown their intentions of making a fresh start, so it’s expected that they might not go for the players they released recently. They have INR 36 crores in the purse, and 11 slots available, which include four overseas slots, so one may see KKR going for the best talent.
Let’s have a look at three players for whom KKR could bid in the upcoming auction:
Knight Riders released Aussie power-hitter, Chris Lynn, ahead of the 2020 auction, and now they need a striker who can take the game away from the opposition. And England’s Jason Roy can be Lynn’s best replacement.
Roy, the star of England’s maiden World Cup triumph, had an excellent outing in the tournament as he scored 443 runs at a strike rate of 115.36, with 153 being his highest.
Roy has played 32 T20Is and amassed 743 runs. Though his numbers in T20I aren’t that impressive, the kind of form he’s in at present is enough to take him into the team, and KKR might go for him in the upcoming auction.
KKR’s skipper Dinesh Karthik didn’t impress with his batting and captaincy skills. He was unable to make the side perform as a unit and it laid to the downfall of Knight Riders.
The management has released Uthappa so they would be looking to invest in a middle-order batsman. If they take Eoin Morgan, then they might also give him the captaincy as the English cricketer has recently shown what he’s capable of by winning the maiden World Cup title.
Morgan can play game-changing innings, and he’s capable of punishing the pacers as well as whacking spinners out of the park. Being the leader, he understands the situation of a game pretty well.
The Middlesex cricketer has played 86 International T20s and scored 2002 runs at a strike rate of 135.7, with 91 being his highest.
When it comes to IPL, then Morgan has amassed 854 runs in 52 matches. His addition can be helpful to the youngsters like Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana. Morgan can groom these players, which will help the team anyway.
In IPL 2019, KKR had the worst bowling average of 42 runs per wicket.
Prasidh Krishna and Lockie Ferguson were expensive, which cost the team on many occasions. Therefore, KKR needs a quality bowler who not only has the experience of the shortest format but can also bowl during the death overs. England’s Chris Jordan could be a handy option in this case.
Jordan is considered a death specialist and has excellent control over yorkers. In his 43 International T20s, Jordan has taken 54 wickets with an average of 24. His best figures came against West Indies when he dismantled the Caribbean batting line-up by taking four wickets for just six runs.
Apart from being a wicket-taking bowler, Jordan is also one of the best fielders in modern-day cricket. If KKR takes the Sussex all-rounder in the upcoming auction, then he can be used in the middle and end overs.