IPL 2022 – Players that KKR can try to sign next season
Kolkata Knight Riders, the two-time IPL champions, haven’t been able to replicate their form from the previous season, in which they reached the finals. It goes without saying that the competition isn’t going as planned when two of the four retained players are benched. Along with the Mumbai Indians, KKR was one of the teams that did not have a successful mega auction. The Knight Riders were unable to raise the auction paddle for other deserving players because their hands were bound after spending a massive 12.25 crores, nearly 39 percent of the total purse value, on their new captain, Shreyas Iyer. And that is where they missed a trick or two, as evidenced by their placement in the bottom half of the scoring table.
According to the legends of the game, 50 percent of the IPL is won at the auction table, where you identify the deficiencies in your team and bid for the individuals who can fill those blanks and play their assigned responsibilities. As we near the end of the Tata IPL 2022, several teams, particularly KKR, would have recognized their vulnerable places and who will be their mitochondria, which may be the team’s powerhouse in the next seasons. The fact that 20 of the maximum quota of 25 players have played in 12 games speaks volumes about KKR’s troubles. In truth, Kolkata has not played a single game with an unchanged eleven, giving the team the appearance of being hopelessly unbalanced.
With a few player slots to be filled to make KKR the finished product, we have compiled a list of 3 players who can make KKR a much more balanced unit next season.
Number 1. Adam Zampa
Leg spin is like salt in T20 cricket. It is such an important component of T20 cricket that without leg spinners, the playing eleven appears bland and insipid, like cuisine without salt. Even among T20 bowlers, five of the top ten bowlers are wrist spinners. KKR were so confident in their spin twins Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy that they didn’t even bid for a full-time spinner in this year’s super auction. This decision has likely come back to haunt them, as both Narine and Chakravarthy have failed to provide KKR with crucial middle-over breakthroughs.
With his leg breaks, the fourth-ranked ICC men’s T20 bowler can undoubtedly affect the game. In terms of physique and bowling style, Zampa is extremely similar to Yuzvendra Chahal. Zamp an a brave leggie who isn’t afraid to give the ball the much-needed flight that helps him to fly around the wicket. The only requirement for becoming a spinner is to not be afraid of getting hit for a six, and this is what distinguishes him from the crowd. Chakravarthy, KKR’s mystery bowler, is now history, and a wrist spinner in the form of Zampa can help them turn things around.
Zampa has appeared in 14 IPL matches and taken 21 wickets, with a high of 6/19. Furthermore, Adam has a phenomenal strike rate in the IPL, striking after approximately every 13 balls and delivering a wicket ball. The Australian leggie has also been a stalwart for his BBL team, the Melbourne Stars, where he has the most wickets with 82. As KKR has struggled to take wickets between overs 7 and 14, Adam Zampa’s wicket-taking talents in the middle overs could make him the ideal partner in crime for Narine in next year’s IPL for Kolkata.
Number 2. Ben McDermott
KKR’s opening pair has been one of their key issues, with the team experimenting with six different combinations only to alter them after a few disastrous games. They are missing a fiery opener who can go all guns blazing in the powerplay overs, as well as a true explosive wicket-keeper batter. In the 12 games that KKR has played, they have used three different keepers. From Sheldon Jackson to Sam Billings to their most recent venture, Baba Aparajith. To address this, KKR could benefit from the hard-hitting Australian wicket-keeper batsman Ben McDermott.
Ben McDermott, with his tremendous six-hitting ability in powerplay overs, can literally stroll into any playing eleven. Ben may also put on the gloves for the men in purple behind the wicket. McDermott has appeared in 74 Big Bash League matches, accumulating 2139 runs at an average of 36.88. His strike rate of 138.9 has piqued the interest of cricket experts more than the average. Ben McDermott shot to prominence in the BBL 2021 after scoring back-to-back match-winning hundreds. In fact, one of them arrived pursuing a total of 175 points against the Adelaide strikers.
Ben was on fire, hitting three fifties and two centuries. He was the highest run-scorer in BBL21, earning him his first call-up to the Australian side. Such a clean striker of the cricket ball would have been an ideal opener and keeper for KKR, who have struggled to generate regular scores from their openers in the 15th Tata IPL. McDermott and Venky might provide the ideal left-right combo for KKR to dominate in 2023.
Number 3. Ben Stokes
When the auctioneer reads Ben Stokes’ name on the big screen, every paddle in the room will go up. A fast-bowling all-rounder is the most desired player in any lineup, whether it be test cricket, one-day cricket, or T20 cricket. A fast bowler with the ability to pick critical wickets and a gritty batter with the ability to slap the leather of the cricket ball always add balance to the playing eleven. And KKR has been desperate to find the ideal mix for their roster, having tested 20 players out of their quota of 25 in this season’s Tata IPL.
If and when Ben Stokes is up for auction, there will definitely be a bidding war, but KKR must dig deep into their reserves to obtain the man who can do the job Andre Russell has been doing for years. KKR has been unduly reliant on Russell in recent years, and they have failed to get over the finish line when he fails to deliver. Stokes can fill this need because he can go wild from the start. The 2019 ODI World Cup final Man of the Match is no stranger to playing under pressure, which will take some of the strain off Shreyas Iyer and Russell, who have been doing the majority of the scoring for KKR.
Stokes has already proven his worth in the Indian Premier League, scoring over 900 runs in 42 innings. Ben has two IPL centuries to his name, with a strike rate of 134.5. In the 37 innings in which Stokes batted, he took 28 wickets at an average of 8.56 runs per over. Stokes can also provide experience to the KKR lineup, advising young captain Shreyas Iyer on crucial choices. A squad featuring Russell and Stokes can be a nightmare for any side, as they can just steamroll through the opposition on any given day.