The craze for IPL 2021 is taking a toll with the upcoming players’ auction for the 14th edition of the cricket tournament. Ahead of IPL 2021 auction on Thursday, February 18, former Indian cricketer, Gautam Gambhir has some gracious advice for Kolkata Knight Riders. The former KKR skipper feels that Kolkata Knight Riders need to find a backup for Andre Russell.
The former left-handed batsman Gambhir also doubts if West Indies’ all-rounder Russell will be able to play 14 games. Kolkata Knight Riders released five players for Indian Premier League 2021 namely M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Siddhesh Lad, Chris Green and Tom Banton.
Gautam Gambhir Opines On Andre Russell’s Form
In a conversation with Star Sports, Gautam Gambhir said, “KKR, they don’t need to fill a lot of gaps but they actually need a backup for Andre Russell because he has got serious injury issues. I doubt he will be able to play 14 games. Yes, you do get fit for IPL, that’s his priority at the moment but again, you need a backup for someone like him, especially given the question mark over Sunil Narine’s action which was there the last time around as well”.
Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to two successful IPL trophies in 2012 and 2014, also feels that KKR doesn’t have much class in batting.
“Couple of players here and there. Apart from Shubman Gill, I don’t see much class in that batting. Dinesh Karthik – yes, he can hurt you very badly in T20 formats but he bats really low down the order. And when you talk about him being a finisher, you can be a finisher batting at No. 3 as well which probably Karthik has done in his IPL career. Even in the last season, you see, it was their Indian batting that didn’t click. There were times when Shubman Gill looked really good. Nitish Rana contributed a bit. Karthik had a bad run in the last season but then how many players are available? So, let’s see”, Gautam Gambhir further said.
Gautam Gambhir Lauds KKR For Their IPL 2021 Auction Strategy
However, Gambhir also commended the KKR franchise for not releasing too many players. “One good thing is that they did not release too many players after a not that successful season, there are probably not many gaps to fill but they need some options,” Gautam Gambhir said.
18 players retained by KKR include Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, 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, Ali Khan and Tim Seifert. KKR now has a budget of Rs. 10.85 crore in the auctions.
Talking about IPL 2021 auctions, more than 1000 cricketers registered their names. Out of these, 292 players were shortlisted by BCCI in the final list. A total of 164 cricketers from India, 125 from overseas, and 3 from Associate nations are part of IPL 2021 auction. The eight franchises retained a total of 139 players while releasing 57. IPL 2021 auction ceremony will take place in Chennai on Thursday, February 18.