Kolkata Knight Riders have sprung a few surprises with their retention. While the decision to keep Sunil Narine and Andre Russell look a good one, the call to not retain Gautam Gambhir, their most successful skipper and batsman, appears a baffling one.
Well, the team will have the option to buy some of their players at the auction with Right To Match (RTM) cards. According to the retention policy, the franchises can retain a maximum of five players by a combination of player retention and right-to-match (RTM) cards (during the auction).
But while time will tell whether the two-time champions buy back their old players or not, they will be looking to buy some top names in the upcoming auction.
So here at Sportzwiki, we are taking a look at the five players the Knight Riders should target in the auction:
5. Kagiso Rabada:
The South Africa speedster did not have a memorable outing in his debut IPL season last year, but his performance in international cricket is enough to prove his worth.
Within two years and even before he turned 21, he had established himself as the leader of the South Africa pace attack. With his ability to bowl regularly in the 140-150kph range, and proven track-record in the subcontinent, the Knight Riders should consider him buying in the upcoming auction.
4. Kuldeep Yadav:
Arguably the most exciting spinner in the world cricket at the moment, Kuldeep Yadav not being retained by the Knight Riders has come as a huge surprise for many.
The unorthodox spinner has not looked back since making his India debut during the Test series against Australia last year. From bamboozling opposition with his variations to taking a hat-trick at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, he had already made a big impression in the international circuit and will be one of the hottest properties in the auction.
Knight Riders have an option to buy him back through the RTM card and they should totally use it.
3. Jos Buttler:
There are a very few wicketkeeper-batsmen in the world better than Jos Buttler in the shortest format of the game at the moment.
He has become the face of England’s transformation post their 2015 World Cup disappointment. Till early 2016, he had England’s three fastest one-day hundreds to his name, and his performance in the franchise cricket has been equally impressive.
Last year he scored over 250 runs for Mumbai Indians in ten games at a strike-rate of over 150 and was one of the most feared opening batsmen.
With the Knight Riders on the lookout for a keeper-batsman, Buttler can be the ideal choice.
2. Chris Lynn:
Lynn is perhaps the most exciting T20 batsman in the world at the moment. After some lukewarm outings, he had set the IPL on fire last season.
However, he was not retained by the Knight Riders since they opted for Sunil Narine and Andre Russell as their two overseas players.
But with a quality opening batsman a much-needed requirement for any team in the T20s, the two-time champions can go for Lynn.
1. Shikhar Dhawan:
With Gautam Gambhir not retained, Knight Riders will be definitely on the look-out for an opening batsman, and they will find very few options better than Shikhar Dhawan.
The India opener needs no introduction, and his current form is set to make him one of the hottest properties. Dhawan’s addition will also add the much-needed Indian experience to the side.