Kolkata Knight Riders who were the runners-up in IPL 2021 after a poor first half have managed to build a full squad of 25 players with eight overseas players. KKR reached the Finals in the last season and Eoin Morgan played a big role through his captaincy but his poor returns with the bat meant that he wasn’t retained before the Mega Auction. Even they had to let go of Dinesh Karthik and the future star – Shubman Gill who were key Indian players in the KKR set up over the last four seasons. Kolkata Knight Riders retained four players – Andre Russel for 12 CR, Varun Chakravarthy for 8 CR, Venkatesh Iyer for 8 CR, and Sunil Narine for 6 CR. They entered the Mega Auction with a budget of 48 CR which was amongst the lowest.
Kolkata Knight Riders were active in the marquee set on Day 1 as they bought back Pat Cummins for 7.25 CR, which is less than half the price they had paid for him in the 2020 IPL Auction (15.5 CR). After letting go of Morgan, they needed a captain and they decided to break their bank for the star Indian player – Shreyas Iyer who has been announced as the KKR skipper. They bought him for a whopping 12.25 CR. They bought back two of their old boys for huge prices – Nitish Rana for 8 CR and Shivam Mavi for 7.25 CR. They tried for Rahul Tripathi and Nicholas Pooran but couldn’t get them in their budget. After four expensive buys, KKR was fairly quiet on Day 1.
On Day 2, they started by buying Sheldon Jackson for 60 Lakhs and Ajinkya Rahane for his base price of 1 CR who could be a part of their probable XI. Later on, they bought three uncapped Indians – Anukul Roy, Rasikh Salam, and Baba Indrajith. They even added a Sri Lankan player – Chamika Karunaratne for 50 Lakhs. In the final rounds, they bought a lot of unknown uncapped Indians, out of which a few might turn out to be future superstars. But more importantly, in the accelerated rounds, KKR bought some real value picks who could turn out to be game-changers. They got Sam Billings for 2 CR, Alex Hales for 1.5 CR, Umesh Yadav for 2 CR, Tim Southee for 1.5 CR, and Mohammad Nabi for 1 CR. Most of these players could start in the XI and KKR have managed to get them for base price.
KKR’s Full Squad: Andre Russell*, Varun Chakravarthy, Venkatesh Iyer, Sunil Narine*, Pat Cummins*, Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, Shivam Mavi, Sheldon Jackson, Ajinkya Rahane, Rinku Singh, Anukul Roy, Rasikh Salam, Baba Indrajith, Chamika Karunaratne*, Abhijeet Tomar, Pratham Singh, Ashok Sharma, Sam Billings*, Alex Hales*, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee*, Ramesh Kumar, Mohammad Nabi*, Aman Hakim Khan
Total Squad Size: 27 – 17 Indians and 8 Overseas
Purse Remaining: 0.45 CR
Probable Playing XI: Venkatesh Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane / Alex Hales*, Shreyas Iyer (C), Nitish Rana, Sam Billings (WK)* / Sheldon Jackson (WK), Andre Russell*, Rinku Singh / Anukul Roy, Pat Cummins*, Sunil Narine*, Shivam Mavi / Umesh Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy