Kolkata Knight Riders are one of the most celebrated teams in Indian Premier League. They have shown a lot of glamour, spark and winning capabilities so far. KKR is the winner of two IPL titles (2012 and 2013) under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir.
KKR is criticised in this IPL season as it did not retain its two IPL title winner captain Gautam Gambhir. KKR neither retained him nor used its RTM card for him in the auction. Now after the departure of Gambhir, KKR is struggling with a very big problem of leadership. Neither KKR retained its old captain nor it bought a player suitable for captaincy.
After Gambhir’s departure now Robin Uthappa is looking first in the line, keen to be the new captain of the team. KKR also bought only 19 players (which is lowest among all franchises) and this is also a major problem for them. Let’s take a look, how the KKR team looks this year with an analysis.
The Retained Players:
As every franchise team of the IPL was allowed to retain its maximum three existing players in the team. But KKR retained only two player and both are overseas. KKR retained the magical off-spinner Sunil Narine and the hard hitter Andre Russell. Both are the star players of the West Indies team and also have a wonderful IPL record.
It was very interesting that KKR did not retain their captain Gautam Gambhir. Now the captaincy issue is a major problem in the side after his departure.
RTM Card Use:
KKR used its all three RTMs in the auction. Kolkata RTM their two spinners Piyush Chawla and new young star Kuldeep Yadav. Spin department of KKR always has been its main strength and after buying these two back, KKR made this department stronger again.
The another RTM KKR used is for its wicket keeper batsmen Robin Uthappa. Uthappa has been an outstanding performer for KKR since a long time with both, bat and globs. Now as for as the new KKR squad is concerned, Robin is keen to be next captain to the side.
The Smart Buys:
Since KKR had already been retained two overseas players so it could not use RTM for Chris Lynn but KKR fought for him till the end and grabbed him finally. This destructive Australian Batsman can take the game to win single-handedly. This is a very smart pick by Kolkata.
Another very smart investment by KKR is in the uncapped players. KKR bought three young stars of Indian U-19 world cup team. The pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi along with the highest run scorer for India in U-19 World Cup Shubhman Gill. KKR bought them at handsome prices and can build the future stars out of them.
The strength of KKR is in its bowling department and especially in the spin section. KKR have the best spin combination among all the IPL teams. Sunil Narine has been proved himself as a superstar with the ball. He can take wickets at the crucial time as well as slowdowns the score. The new spin star of Indian team Kuldeep Yadav is also there. He can bat as well when it requires. Piyush Chawla has played all 10 IPL seasons, so KKR also has a good quality spinner with experience.
The batting star Robin Uthappa and Carribean star Andre Russell will be the key of KKR’s batting line-up along with the match winner himself Chris Lynn. So the top order with Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa looks very strong again.
Captaincy problem is a very major issue for KKR now. KKR does not have any experienced international player in the squad who can lead the team. Perhaps KKR did not focus on this factor and let Gambhir go and did not find his replacement.
KKR made a team with only 19 players. If any 2 or 3 players got injured or 1 – 2 overseas players return to their home then it will be very difficult for KKR to replace them as the franchise has a limited bench strength.
Lack of experience is one of the biggest problems for KKR. KKR does not have any big international star in the squad and also no big experienced player is looking on its bench. The Pace attack of KKR is also looking inexperienced and weak in many respects.