Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 runner-up Kolkata Knight Riders have got a modest squad assembled for the 2022 season. KKR let Eoin Morgan leave, and the best thing they did was roping in Shreyas Iyer for Rs 12.5 crore and then make him the captain. Iyer has captained Delhi Capitals in the past and brings a lot of quality. KKR waited late to bring in Sam Billings and Alex Hales. They have a decent squad on offer and will need to find the right balance going forward. Moreover, KKR need the mega stars in their squad to remain fit. A few areas could have been addressed better. However, KKR bat deep, and that’s a major plus.
The players KKR had retained
With the IPL set to be a 10-team affair, the existing teams had an opportunity to retain at least four players ahead of the auction. The Knights retained the likes of Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, and Varun Chakravarthy. They started the auction with a purse of Rs 48 crore.
Key picks for KKR in the IPL 2022 auction
KKR had a decent IPL 2022 auction. They went to pay a whopping sum of Rs 12.25 crore for former Delhi Capitals player Shreyas Iyer. The Indian middle-order batsman has also been named as the skipper. Another crucial buy was Pat Cummins for Rs 7.5 crore. They also got back Nitish Rana for Rs 8 crore and Shivam Mavi for Rs 7.25 crore. They also picked up Alex Hales and Sam Billings to bolster the batting.
Presenting KKR’s complete squad
Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer and Varun Chakravarthy, Pat Cummins, Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Mavi, Sheldon Jackson, Ajinkya Rahane, Rinku Singh, Anukul Roy, Rasikh Dar, Baba Indrajith, Chamika Karunaratne, Abhijeet Tomar, Pratham Singh, Ashok Sharma, Sam Billings, Alex Hales, Tim Southee, Ramesh Kumar, Mohammad Nabi, Umesh Yadav, Aman Khan
What can be KKR’s playing XI?
1) Venkatesh Iyer: The all-rounder made his debut for KKR in the second phase of IPL 2021 in UAE and won the hearts of everyone with key consistency on offer. He scored 370 runs from 10 matches at 41.11. He gives KKR the option as a sixth bowler in the side. Iyer has also represented India following his sound run last season in the IPL.
2) Alex Hales: The England international missed out on the IPL of late despite scoring heavily across global T20 leagues. He is an aggressive opener and has all sorts of shots in his armoury. Hales can complement Iyer upfront and take the baton to score quickly.
3) Nitish Rana: The southpaw comes in at number three for KKR. He has been a crucial player for the side of late. Rana has plenty of pedigree as a player and can chip in with match-winning scores. He has 1,820 runs at 28.43. Last season, Rana scored 383 runs.
4) Shreyas Iyer: The middle-order batsman has a lot of work ahead of him in terms of shouldering the responsibility of scoring valuable runs. Iyer is KKR’s fulcrum, and his runs can be a massive boost. Overall, he has scored 2,375 runs in IPL at 31.66. In addition, he has scored seven fifties.
5) Sheldon Jackson: With Sam Billings and Alex Hales to be rotated for KKR, Jackson could start for the side as the wicket-keeper batsman. He can bat at numerous positions. It’s a massive season ahead for Jackson, who warmed the bench last season.
6) Andre Russell: The big-hitting Andre Russell needs to find his form for KKR after misfiring late. He can win matches single-handedly and needs to remain fit. If he remains available, KKR can get a huge boost. Russell has 1,700 runs at 29.31. He has also claimed 72 wickets.
7) Rinku Singh: The academy graduate of KKR will finally get some game time after being rarely used over the years. Rinku has hard-hitting abilities in the middle-order and can be used as a finisher. With several players gone from KKR, Rinku has an important season ahead.
8) Sunil Narine: The spin all-rounder will aim to weave his magic this season and guide KKR consistently. Narine is one of KKR’s prime assets. He has been a true Knight and boasts of several credentials. He has 954 runs, besides taking 143 wickets.
9) Pat Cummins: The Aussie international adds dynamism to this KKR side. He will lead the pace attack for KKR and can contribute crucial scores with the bat, too, at number eight or nine. Cummins has a total of 316 runs and 38 wickets in the IPL. He has plenty of attributes to make his presence felt.
10) Shivam Mavi: The youngster has a lot of potential, and KKR will hope to utilise him well with the new ball and at the death. Mavi brings a lot of value to this KKR side. He can be economical and has the knack for picking wickets.
11) Varun Chakravarthy: The mystery spinner was prolific for KKR last season and did well in IPL 2020 as well. He has had 35 wickets, showcasing his skills over the last two seasons. He is KKR’s leading spinner and has a lot of responsibility up his sleeves.