Kolkata Knight Riders had the least salary cap of Rs. 10.35 crore during IPL 2021 auction but the owners utilized the money efficiently to pick 8 players during the event. Kolkata Knight Riders bought all-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan for Rs. 3.2 crore, inviting the cricketer once against into their squad. Hasan was part of KKR from IPL 2011 to 2017 but moved to Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2018 and IPL 2019.
IPL 2012 and IPL 2014 champions Kolkata Knight Riders also invested Rs. 2 crore to pick Harbhajan Singh into their team. KKR’s other buys during IPL 2021 auction were as follows- Ben Cutting for Rs. 75 lakh, Karun Nair for Rs 50 lakh, Pawan Negi; Venkatesh Iyer; Sheldon Jackson; and Vaibhav Arora for Rs. 20 lakh each. Hence, it is quite visible that Kolkata Knight Riders utilized their money very well to induct new players into their squad.
Kolkata Knight Riders did not qualify for playoffs in IPL 2020, after losing the 4th spot to Royal Challengers Bangalore in a nail-biting competition. Thereafter, the franchisee decided to part ways with 6 players ahead of IPL 2021 auction. Kolkata Knight Riders released Chris Green, Harry Gurney, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Siddhesh Lad, and Tom Banton from their squad.
Post-IPL 2021 auction, Kolkata Knight Riders have 25 players in their squad. Some of these are very crucial players for the team whose absence from a match will cause a big blow to the team. Here are 5 players from Kolkata Knight Riders who will play every match in IPL 2021.
Shubman Gill was the leading run-getter for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020. He played all 14 games for KKR and scored 440 runs which consisted of 3 half-centuries. For openers, Kolkata Knight Riders do not have a better option than Shubman Gill.
The right-handed batsman has earned more limelight through his performance in India vs Australia Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 and ongoing India vs England Test series 2021. With such an amazing form, Shubman Gill will surely open the innings for Kolkata Knight Riders in every game of IPL 2021.
Dinesh Karthik, who also led Kolkata Knight Riders in few games in IPL 2020, is the best wicket-keeper option for the team. He is a great hitter at the lower middle-order position. He also has a lot of experience behind the stumps. In IPL 2020, he was part of all the 14 games that Kolkata Knight Riders played. He scored 169 runs which included one fifty. KKR does not have a better option for wicket-keeper other than Dinesh Karthik so he will feature in every game in IPL 2021.
Nitish Rana emerged as a brilliant batsman for Kolkata Knight Riders in the last edition of the Indian Premier League. He played 14 matches for KKR, piling up 352 runs for the team. With a 138+ strike rate, the left-handed batsman also hit 3 half-centuries. Rana will be a crucial batsman for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021 and the team will keep him in the playing 11 in all the games throughout the tournament.
At Rs. 3.2 crore, Shakib-Al-Hasan was Kolkata Knight Riders’ costliest and most crucial deal in IPL 2021. Shakib-Al-Hasan is one of the most magnificent all-rounders in international cricket. The Bangladesh cricketer is a brilliant batsman and a superb secondary bowler for the team. Shakib did not play in IPL 2020 and he will be eager to show his skills in IPL 2021 tournament. He is a prominent asset for Kolkata Knight Riders and the team will induct him into the playing 11 during every game.
Pat Cummins is the top-ranked Test bowler currently and his deadly swing balls disturbed the Indian batsmen during Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 too. The Australian pacer will be leading KKR’s bowling from the front in IPL 2021. The right-arm pacer Cummins will find his place in every match as Kolkata Knight Riders have a lot of hopes from him in the forthcoming IPL 2021 tournament.