Kolkata Knight Riders finished at the 5th spot in IPL 2020 points table, losing their playoff’s spot to Royal Challengers Bangalore who finished on the 4th spot. Kolkata Knight Riders arrived at IPL 2021 auction with a salary cap of Rs. 10.75 crore. In spite of having such a little budget, Kolkata Knight Riders were able to buy 8 players during the auction.
Ahead of the auction, Kolkata Knight Riders bid farewell to 6 players namely- Chris Green, Harry Gurney, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Siddhesh Lad and Tom Banton. KKR retained 17 players in the team and later bought 8 during the auction. KKR now has 25 players in their squad. Here is the full squad of Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021.
Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Tim Seifert, Shakib-al-Hasan, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Karun Nair, Pawan Negi, Venkatesh Iyer, Sheldon Jackson and Vaibhav Arora.
With so many top-class cricketers part of Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021, there will be some cricketers who may not get a chance to be part of playing 11. Here we will look at 5 players from Kolkata Knight Riders who might be benched throughout the tournament.
IPL 2021: 5 Players From Kolkata Knight Riders Who Might Be Benched Throughout The Tournament
26-year-old Venkatesh Iyer was bought for Rs. 20 lakh by KKR during IPL 2021 auction. The all-rounder has not played any IPL match so far. He has played 10 first-class matches, 23 List A matches and 38 T20 matches for his domestic team Madhya Pradesh. For the all-rounder’s slot, Kolkata Knight Riders already comprise players like Andre Russell and Shivam Mavi. Venkatesh Iyer might have to face exclusion from the playing 11 during the IPL 2021 tournament.
Wicket-keeper Sheldon Jackson joined Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs. 20 lakh during IPL 2021 auction. The 34-year-old cricketer played 4 matches for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2017 but has not arrived on the field in subsequent IPL editions.
Dinesh Karthik holds the wicket-keeper’s role for KKR and it is less likely that Sheldon Jackson will earn a chance to keep the stumps in any match during IPL 2021. KKR also has New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman Tim Seifert in the squad to replace Dinesh Karthik at any point.
All-rounder Vaibhav Arora was also bought for Rs. 20 lakh during IPL 2021 auction. The 23-year-old cricketer plays for Himachal Pradesh at the domestic level. The right-handed batsman Arora has played 8 first-class, 4 list A and 6 T20s games so far. He is quite inexperienced and less likely to find a spot in the playing 11 for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021.
Harbhajan Singh became part of Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021 auction at his Rs. 2 crore base price. The 40-year-old off-break bowler played for Chennai Super Kings in the last edition. Kolkata Knight Riders opted to buy the Indian spinner but the team already has young spinners like Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy and Pawan Negi in the team. Hence Harbhajan Singh may have to sit out throughout the tournament.
Right-arm pacer Sandeep Warrier played 3 matches for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2019. He took 2 wickets. Later in IPL 2020, he played one match for KKR in which he was unable to bag any wicket.
KKR has totally avoided giving more opportunities to Sandeep Warrier in the playing 11. In IPL 2021, KKR have top class pacers like Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins and Prasidh Krishna, therefore, Sandeep Warrier might find it difficult to make it to the playing 11 in IPL 2021.