IPL Auction 2023 : Kolkata Knight Riders Preview


Moving on to the seventh team in our auction preview, today we will talk about Kolkata Knight Riders.

Kolkata Knight Riders have won the IPL trophy two times in the years 2012 and 2014 and have also played the final many times. They played their last final against Chennai Super Kings in 2021 and lost there. IPL 2022 wasn’t a great season for the KKR franchise as they finished seventh on the points table with only 6 wins from 14 games despite regrouping their squad at the mega auction. Let’s try to find out what they can do to make this season a successful one.


KKR’s current squad is as follows –
Shreyas Iyer (c), Andre Russell (overseas), Sunil Narine (overseas), Venkatesh Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy, Tim Southee (overseas), Rinku Singh, Nitish Rana, Umesh Yadav, Harshit Rana, Anukul Roy, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (overseas), Lockie Ferguson (overseas), and Shardul Thakur.

The Kolkata Knight Riders franchise has a lot of players to be bought but is not left with much money. They have only INR 7.05 crores in their kitty and still need to buy a minimum of 4 players and they can buy a maximum of 11 players, which I feel they won’t be able to do.

They spent heavily on 2-3 players during the trading window and now see themselves in deep waters. Below I will try to make their probable playing 11 and see what are the necessities they need to fulfill.

Shreyas Iyer and Brendon Mccullum

Let’s try out the permutations and combinations and see what we can get. Starting from the top, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Venkatesh Iyer will open the innings in my opinion. Shreyas Iyer at three and Nitish Rana at four. The top-4 look decent but two young openers at such a big stage, we will have to see how that turns out. I don’t see anyone for numbers five and six unless they play Rinku Singh at one of those positions.

Russell will bat at seven, then followed by Narine and Shardul at eight and nine, in no fixed order of course. Lockie Ferguson and Varun Chakravarthy will be the ten and eleven. Southee and Yadav will be the backups for Lockie and Shardul respectively.

One other thing they might do is make everyone bat a position higher from Russell, so he is at 6, and then the others follow allowing the KKR management to play an extra bowler. They still don’t have any players for positions five and six, and they need backups for players like Andre Russell and Sunil Narine who are injury-prone.

I don’t see many players in the auction pool who can play the role of Russell, keeping Kolkata’s purse left in mind. They still need to get 2-3 good domestic fast bowlers and spinners in case none of their Indian bowlers is in form. Their batting starts looking decent when we see Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, and Andre Russell together but they still need a solid middle-order Indian batter who can turn the game in their favor.

They don’t have spin-bowling options other than Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine, and Anukul Roy. If they can get a good Indian opener in the auction, that would be great for them as then they can play another overseas player in the middle-order or bowling department in place of Rahmanullah Gurbaz. But if Gurbaz sits out, they need a wicketkeeper as he is the only one on the team as of now.

Shreyas Iyer will have to carry the team on his own unlike last year with the use of his experience and leadership. Andre Russell as always will be the X-factor player for this team who can change the game for them anytime in any dimension (batting, bowling, or fielding) of the sport.