Aakash Chopra has shown faith in Gautam Gambhir and believes that he will make the most of Kolkata Knight Riders’ hefty purse to assemble a formidable squad for the IPL 2024. Kolkata Knight Riders have ₹32.70 crore left in their purse after releasing a plethora of players ahead of the IPL auction. The Kolkata-based franchise can acquire a maximum of 12 players, including four overseas players, at the auction which is scheduled in Dubai on December 19.
Aakash Chopra shared his opinion in a video that Gambhir would like to use all the resources available at his disposal to turn things around for the Kolkata Knight Riders. He elaborated, “Gautam was in Lucknow and has reached Kolkata, but he was in Kolkata earlier as well. In fact, he was the captain when Kolkata won the IPL trophy twice. They finished at No. 7 last time, and couldn’t qualify. Shreyas Iyer wasn’t available. The captain is available this time and the mentor has also changed.”
The former India opener added, “The winds of change have blown. They have a lot of money and Gautam Gambhir is never stingy. He says he will spend even the last rupee. In fact, I remember, he didn’t take a single paisa home in Lucknow’s first auction. So you can expect the same here as well.”
Gautam Gambhir Has Led KKR To Two IPL Titles
Gautam Gambhir has led the Kolkata Knight Riders in their two title triumphs in 2012 and 2014. He then left the franchise playing his last season for them in 2017 and moved to the Delhi Capitals before joining the Lucknow Super Giants as a mentor in 2022. Gautam Gambhir spent the entire available purse of ₹90 crore assembling a 21-member squad at the IPL 2022 auction.
Now that he is back in Kolkata, the team management and fans will expect a turnaround given his record with the team has been phenomenal when he was leading the side. Gautam Gambhir took KKR’s captaincy from the legendary Sourav Ganguly in 2011 when the latter retired from all forms of cricket and since then he completely changed the team from a lower mid-table team to the champions.
Kolkata Knight Riders did not have an auspicious IPL campaign in 2022 and 2023 as they failed to qualify for the playoffs. Their recent best campaign was in 2021 when they reached the finals under the leadership of Eoin Morgan. However, they were defeated by Chennai Super Kings in the finals. Gautam Gambhir could change things for the franchise and hopefully, KKR will qualify for the playoffs this time around.