The IPL 6 auction is done and dusted and all the teams must now buckle down to the nearly two-month long competition that is set to begin on April 3, 2013, when Kolkata Knight Riders take on Delhi Daredevils, at the Eden Gardens.
KKR had to contend with disappointment at the auction when their bid for Ajantha Mendis failed to fructify and they had to satisfy themselves with buying another Sri Lankan spinner, Senanayake, for a princely sum of $625,000. The team management’s intention was clear; they were looking for a regular spinner to partner Sunil Narine on the Eden’s spin friendly track. They also sought an all-rounder and bid for West Indies skipper Darren Sammy; they had no better luck this time and had to settle for South Africa’s Ryan Mclaren.
With just the two buys from the auction, KKR’s complete squad looks like this: Gambhir, Tiwary, Das, Bisla, Pathan, Shukla, Bhatia, Balaji, Abdulla, Shami Ahmed, Sangwan, Ladda, Morgan, Haddin, McCullum, Shakib Al Hasan, Doeschate, Kallis, Lee, Pattinson, Narine, Senanayake, McLaren.
The team has as many as 10 overseas players and selecting the best eleven is no easy task, especially when you consider the restriction of four overseas players per side. But let’s start by considering players who seem to select themselves. From among the overseas stars, Kallis and Narine are certain to play while from among the Indian players, Gambhir and Balaji are the ones that KKR would seek to select whenever they played a game.
Of the remaining seven players needed to make up the eleven, McCullum could find favor as a keeper-batsman. And depending on whether the game is at the Eden or at an away venue, either a spinner or a fast bowler could walk into the team. My candidates are Shakib Al Hasan and Lee, though Senanayake could be selected ahead of Shakib simply because of the big price paid for the Sri Lankan tweaker.
We are left with the task of selecting five more players, all from the Indian section. The six players selected so far include an opener, a keeper batsman, an all-rounder, and three bowlers, including at least one fast bowler and one spinner. I would definitely want to have at least two more regular bowlers among the remaining five selections and my choices are Abdulla/ Bhatia (depending on spin/ pace friendly tracks) and Shami Ahmed, after his good showing for India. For the other three places< I would prefer to have Tiwary, Bisla and Pathan (though Yusuf Pathan did not live up to his potential in IPL 5).
So we now have two possible elevens for home and away games, as follows:
Best probable KKR eleven for matches at the Eden Gardens: Gambhir, McCullum, Kallis, Tiwary, Bisla, Pathan, Shakib, Abdulla, Narine, Balaji, Ahmed.
Best probable KKR eleven for away matches: Gambhir, McCullum, Kallis, Tiwary, Bisla, Pathan, Bhatia, Narine, Balaji, Ahmed, Lee.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.