The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League is just around the corner, with reports suggesting that the mini auction before IPL 2021 could happen around February 11. The IPL Governing Council has officially confirmed that the franchises will have to declare their retention lists by January 21. The one team which will make a lot of discussions before the D-Day is Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Kolkata-based franchise has won two IPL trophies. However, in the last two seasons, they have failed to find a place in the Top 4. It is noteworthy that the Knight Riders have always done well in the league. However, the results in the final phase of the league stage do not go in their way, resulting in their early exit from the competition.
The Kolkata Knight Riders changed their captain last year as Dinesh Karthik handed over the team’s reins to Eoin Morgan. The team management will likely retain Morgan, who scored 418 runs in IPL 2020. Andre Russell did not have a great season but because of his past performances, even he will get another contract. Sunil Narine will also continue with KKR. However, the franchise will think twice before retaining Pat Cummins.
A massive amount of their purse is consumed for Cummins’ contract. Thus, the Kolkata Knight Riders could release the Australian all-rounder and buy him back at a cheaper price. Rising stars Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, and Siddhesh Lad will likely continue playing for KKR in IPL 2021.
A KKR source informed InsideSport that the franchise intends to release Dinesh Karthik and Kuldeep Yadav. They will back the wicket-keeping duo of Nikhil Naik and Tom Banton over Karthik, as per the report. Notably, Dinesh did not have an eventful IPL 2020 season as he managed only 169 runs in 14 matches.
Even Kuldeep Yadav seems to have lost his magical touch. Recently, he has not found a place in the Indian white-ball teams as well. Meanwhile, Sandeep Warrier has been around in the IPL for quite some time. However, the youngster has not received consistent opportunities. His retention will depend upon his performance in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Prasidh Krishna and Lockie Fergsuon are likely to hold their contracts, but the same cannot be said of Chris Green who had a forgettable IPL debut in the United Arab Emirates. Rinku Singh scored 11 runs in the only game he played. Like Warrier, his contract status depends on Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Ali Khan and Tim Seifert joined the franchise as replacement players. It is likely that the Knight Riders might retain Seifert because they are planning to release primary wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik according to latest reports.
List of Players KKR might retain: Eoin Morgan, Shivam Mavi, Sandeep Warrier, Sunil Narine, Nikhil Naik, M Siddharth, Andre Russell, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Tim Seifert, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Rinku Singh, Varun Chakravarthy, Tom Banton, Rahul Tripathi
List of Players KKR might release: Kuldeep Yadav, Dinesh Karthik, Pat Cummins, Chris Green, Ali Khan.