Kolkata Knight Riders, the two-time IPL champions had a flat performance in the truncated IPL 2021. The Eoin Morgan-led side could only win two matches in the seven outings and was languishing at the bottom of the IPL 2021 Points Table. BCCI is likely to host a mega auction before the IPL 2022.
Like all other teams, this would be an opportunity for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to revamp their set up ahead of the 2022 auction. Most of their key players have underperformed in the last two IPL seasons, including skipper Eoin Morgan. As a result, the England white-ball skipper might not be retained by KKR in the next IPL edition. Over the years, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell have been touted as the two major pillars for KKR.
However, Narine has witnessed a lean patch of form with the bat since IPL 2020. In the 14 innings, the Caribbean all-rounder has managed to score nearly 100 runs for the franchise. Narine's bowling form has also taken a major dip. Due to regular objection against his action, he's lost venom in his mystery off-spin and as a result, has missed out on a spot in the playing XI on many occasions.
While the Kolkata-based outfit might definitely retain Russell, they might prefer to retain another player instead of Narine in IPL 2022.
Here's a look at 3 players who might be retained by KKR instead of Sunil Narine in IPL 2022:
1. Shubman Gill
One of the most talented individuals in India, Shubman Gill took the world by storm after his performances in India's triumphant tour of Australia 2020/21. However, ever since his return from Australia, the youngster has struggled with the opportunities that have come his way including his stint with KKR in IPL 2021.
Regardless, the KKR management is likely to provide Gill another chance to prove his worth in the next season. The 21-year-old was the highest run-getter for KKR in the IPL 2020. KKR fans will expect the Punjab-born cricketer to bounce back and be at his best in the IPL next season. In all likelihood, KKR might fancy retaining Gill ahead of Narine in IPL 2022 mega auction.
2. Dinesh Karthik
Another Indian player that KKR might retain in the next IPL season is Dinesh Karthik. The 35-year old was not at his best in the IPL this year. In 7 matches in IPL 2021, Karthik could only manage to muster 123 runs at a strike rate nearing 140. However, Karthik was one of KKR’s best players in the IPL 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Dinesh Karthik has been the most experienced player of this franchise since Gautam Gambhir left KKR. His experience as a finisher gives relief to the franchise. He was even appointed KKR skipper after the 2018 IPL auction and discharged his duties to perfection until relinquishing the job midway through the season in 2020. Hence, it is highly likely that Karthik might be retained by KKR in IPL 2022 auction.
3. Pat Cummins
KKR invested a lot of faith in Pat Cummins when he became the most expensive overseas player in IPL 2020. The franchise was quite keen to acquire Cummins even if it meant paying a price as high as INR 15.5 Crores. In IPL 2021, Cummins had a decent run with nine wickets in seven innings. He emerged as the leading wicket-taker for KKR this season.
Cummins even showed his skills with the bat in one of the IPL matches against CSK in 2021. Although Cummins has failed to justify his price tag in the last two IPL seasons. Despite that fact, KKR might continue with Cummins in a new IPL season in the 2022 mega auction.