Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had an interesting season in IPL 2023. KKR were dealt a major blow as their captain Shreyas Iyer was ruled out of the entire tournament with a back injury. The management bestowed their faith in Nitish Rana to lead the side and as it turned out, Rana did a good job. The young captain led KKR to six wins out of the fourteen league games.
The players punched above their weight and won a few close games. Even the defeats came in closely-contested games. Eventually, KKR finished in the seventh position. While there were plenty of positives for the two-time champions, quite a few issues plagued their progress in the tournament. The biggest issue with KKR was an unstable opening pair.
The management tried more than nine opening pairs but to no avail. They eventually settled with Jason Roy and Venkatesh Iyer which looked like the best choice. This constant chop and change at the top of the order also resulted in an unstable middle order. Although Nitish Rana came to bat at No.4 in most of the games followed by Rinku Singh and Andre Russell, KKR did not have a regular No.3.
KKR’s utilization of its players was also not the best and hence they would look to make a few changes to their squad ahead of IPL 2024. Releasing a few players will free up some purse amount as well as a couple of slots. So, here are four players which KKR can release ahead of the IPL 2024 auction.
1. N Jagadeesan
N Jagadeesan moved to KKR from Chennai Super Kings (CSK) when the franchise bought the Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper batter for INR 90 lakhs at IPL 2023 Auction. Jagadeesan, coming on the back of a terrific domestic season, was expected to take IPL 2023 by a storm but it never happened. KKR tried fitting him at the top initially and then moved him down the order but nothing worked.
Jagadeesan finished IPL 2023 with only 89 runs in 6 matches at an average of 14.83 and at a strike rate of 109.88. So, KKR will look to let go of Jagadeesan and get someone else around the same price.
2. Mandeep Singh
Mandeep Singh has been tried by quite a few franchises including Kolkata Knight Riders but to no success. Singh has been below-par with his performances and IPL 2023 was no different. KKR opened with Mandeep in the first few games but he failed. The batter scored a total of 14 runs in three games. With age catching up, Singh does not find a place in the KKR setup and hence the management will look to get rid of him and acquire the services of a young domestic batter.
3. David Wiese
KKR got David Wiese at his base price at the IPL 2023 Auction and it was deemed a good deal. However, the team’s inability to fit him in the XI made the decision look a mistake and quite obviously KKR management will look to release David. The Namibia all-rounder featured in three games scoring 21 runs and no wicket to his name. Releasing David will free up an overseas slot and KKR will look to get a good bowler instead.
4. Litton Das
The Bangladesh batter featured in a solitary match for KKR in IPL 2023 where Litton Das scored 4 runs. Das being a top-order batter ended the possibilities of him being a regular feature in the KKR playing XI. Now, with the first six batters almost decided, persisting with Das seems like an illogical move. Hence, KKR will look to free up an overseas slot by releasing Litton Das.
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