Kolkata Knight Riders who were the runners-up in the last IPL will have a different captain this year. Eoin Morgan has led them in IPL 2021 Final went unsold and Shreyas Iyer who they have bought for 12.25 CR in the Mega Auction will lead KKR this season. Kolkata Knight Riders were the only team who retained two overseas players – Andre Russell and Sunil Narine along with Venkatesh Iyer and Varun Chakravarthy.
Kolkata Knight Riders started off aggressively on Day 1 as they bought Pat Cummins, Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, and Shivam Mavi for huge prices. On Day 2 towards the end, they filled their overseas slots with some cheap buys who could turn out to be game-changers. Kolkata Knight Riders haven’t won an IPL trophy since 2014 and KKR fans will be hoping that Shreyas Iyer changes their fortunes. KKR has filled all their eight overseas slots and so it won’t be easy for them to pick the four overseas players. So, let us have a look at the four overseas players who could be in the playing XI for KKR.
1. Andre Russell
Andre Russell who has been part of the KKR franchise for a long time is one of the players who was retained and so he will surely be one of the four overseas players for KKR. Russell hasn’t been at his best over the last couple of seasons and if he starts firing KKR look a completely different team.
He has had injury issues and whenever he bowls a lot, he tends to miss games due to injuries. In the last IPL season, he picked up 11 wickets but scored less than 200 runs in the whole season. KKR has retained him for a decent amount and they will expect a lot more from him in this IPL season.
2. Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine despite not being at his peak should be one of the four overseas players for KKR in IPL 2022. Narine who hasn’t been playing at the international level picked up 16 wickets in just 14 matches in the last IPL season. He had an economy rate of just 6.44 throughout the tournament.
He forms a formidable combo with the other mystery spinner – Varun Chakravarthy. They choked teams in the middle-overs and kept picking up wickets at regular intervals. Even though he isn’t scoring big runs with the bat he played a few important cameos for KKR in the last season. Narine will be keen to be back and deliver those match-winning performances.
3. Pat Cummins
Kolkata Knight Riders who had bought Pat Cummins for 15.25 CR in the 2020 IPL Auction, released him before the Mega Auction and managed to get him back for 7.25 CR which is less than half the price. Cummins who is now the Australian Test captain has been a decent performer for the KKR franchise over the last two years.
He picked up 9 wickets in 7 games and he also played some great knocks with the bat. Cummins might not be available for the first week but still with all his experience could be a key overseas player for KKR in IPL 2022.
4. Sam Billings
KKR bought Sam Billings towards the end of the Auction for his base price of 2 CR. KKR didn’t have a keeper who has played regularly in the IPL and right now Sam Billings seems to fit the role for KKR. The other option KKR has is Sheldon Jackson.
Sam Billings has done well in the middle-order for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League and he would complement the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Nitish Rana. He seems to be an underrated white-ball player. He is a good keeper and a great team man and so he should be one of the four overseas players for KKR in IPL 2022.