The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had a mixed IPL 2020 season. They had to change their captain mid-way through the tournament, and that generally doesn't pan out well as far as dressing room atmosphere is concerned. They also chopped and changed their playing XI a lot, and did not have a stable batting order.
Eventually, all this uncertainty cost them a place in the playoffs, as they finished in the fifth position in the IPL 2020 points table. Here are some of the players that KKR might release before the next season.
IPL 2020: 5 players KKR might release before the next season.
Dinesh Karthik was snapped up by the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2018 IPL auction and was made the captain of the side after the exit of Gautam Gambhir. Filling in the shoes of the 2-time IPL winning captain was never going to be easy. But Karthik did a good job in the first season by leading a limited KKR squad to a third place finish. However, the following two seasons haven't been that great for him.
Karthik had a horrible IPL 2020 season with the bat, scoring only 169 runs from 14 games at an average of just 14.08. He also gave up his captaincy halfway through the season and thus performing well with the bat should have been his priority. With age not on his side and him no longer being the captain, it is unlikely that KKR will retain the Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper batsman next season.
2. Kuldeep Yadav
It is safe to say that Kuldeep Yadav has not been given enough chances by KKR in the past two seasons. The IPL 2019 season was not great for the 25-year-old — he got only 4 wickets in 9 games — and the IPL 2020 season was even worse.
Kuldeep only played 5 games this season, and could only pick up a solitary wicket. The likes of Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine kept him out of the playing XI with their consistent performances. Not being backed by the franchise has not done any good for Kuldeep's confidence, and thus he might be released by KKR before next season.
3. Chris Green
Chris Green had come into the KKR side having had the reputation of being a handy all-rounder. Having played in T20 leagues around the world, it looked like a decent buy for the franchise. However, he did not get much game time as he played only 1 game and got figures of 0-24.
With the likes of Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan, and Tom Banton likely to form the nucleus of the KKR side as far as foreign players are concerned, Green is likely to be released by the franchise.
4. Tim Seifert
Tim Seifert was brought into the KKR side as a replacement for USA international Ali Khan, who himself was a replacement for Harry Gurney. Gurney missed the IPL 2020 season through injury, and neither of Ali Khan or Tim Seifert got a look-in into the playing XI.
With each team being able to field only 4 foreigners in the playing XI, and 8 foreigners in their total squad, it is unlikely that Tim Seifert would be retained by the side. This would give them more options to add other overseas players into their squad before the next season.
5. Siddhesh Lad
Siddhesh Lad was traded in from Mumbai Indians in the trade window before the IPL 2020 season. He was brought in probably as a cover for Shubman Gill, as he is an Indian opener. However, he did not get any chances in the playing XI, as KKR backed the likes of Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana to open alongside Shubman Gill after Sunil Narine's failure at the top of the order.
By the end of IPL 2020, KKR seem to have found their opening combination as Nitish Rana scored three half-centuries as an opener. With Tom Banton and Tripathi equally capable of chipping in as openers, Lad is likely to be released by the Kolkata-based franchise before the next season.Published 15 Nov 2020, 14:39 IST