The two-time Indian Premier League champions did not have much of an eventful afternoon at the recently concluded auctions, having completed most of their acquisitions prior to the event during the trading window.
The franchise roped in Afghanistan batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz and New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson from the defending champions Gujarat Titans and also struck a deal that brought all-rounder Shardul Thakur to the Eden Gardens.
They let go of Shivam Mavi, who took up a significant investment during the mega auction earlier this year. However, it wasn’t a successful move to bring back the young speedster, who is a KKR product. The player was absent from the squad consistently and failed to impress when given a chance.
It was never going to be a busy afternoon for KKR, who had very limited business to do after a busy trading window. With the limited purse that they had after spending in excess of Rs.20 Crore on the transferred players alone, the Knight Riders were left with very little to make any significant moves.
Nevertheless, they did make some important purchases, mainly to strengthen their batting lineup, which appeared very thin prior to the auction. The Kolkata outfit made three seemingly suggestive buys in Bangladesh batter Litton Das and the promising Narayanan Jagadeesan, apart from the experienced Mandeep Singh, who was released by Delhi Capitals.
The Knights also bought back Bangla veteran Shakib Al Hasan and acquired the services of David Wiese, who became the first Namibian player to be sold in an IPL auction. Wiese did appear for the RCB in past editions of the tournament, but that was before he made the switch from South Africa. Nevertheless, the 2012 champions also added a host of uncapped bowlers in Suyash Sharma, Harshit Rana, and Kulwant Khejroliya, as their lineup appeared to take shape.
Predicted lineup for Kolkata Knight Riders
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy