India’s one of the biggest cricket legends and former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain, Sourav Ganguly, has named his choice of four foreign players that the Kolkata based IPL franchise should play in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2018) – Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Mitchell Starc, Chris Lynn.
Note: The IPL 2018 norms allow for a maximum of four foreign players to be played in a team, however, a team could buy more than just four, based on their IPL strategies and budgets.
In an interview with the official Youtube channel of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the President of Cricket Association of Bengal, Sourav Ganguly, spoke about the issues that are taken into consideration while deciding the squad and the players. A similar issue was to decide which four foreign players the Kolkata team should play for IPL 2018.
KKR retained Sunil Narine, Andre Russell ahead of IPL 2018 auction
Kolkata Knight Riders made sure that they retained their winning ingredients from the previous seasons of the Indian Premier League, and roped in West Indies star bowler Sunil Narine (INR 12.5 crore) and West Indies star all-rounder Andre Russell (INR 8.5 crore).
With INR 21 crores spent on the two West Indies cricketers, it is a no-brainer to decide if they will make it in the starting XI line-up for KKR in IPL 2018. Sourav Ganguly confirmed that the Sunil Narine and Andre Russell would surely be a part of the four foreign players for KKR, and spoke about the impact that they have had in KKR’s success.
Sunil Narine main reason for KKR’s success, says Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly said that in the initial years of the Indian Premier League, Kolkata Knight Riders were not good at all. When asked what was the factor that turned the fortune around for the Shahrukh Khan-owned team, Sourav Ganguly said,
“Sunil Narine. Sunil Narine was the main reason behind KKR success after season 3. He used to just bamboozle teams at that stage. The wicket was different at Eden Gardens, the ball would grip and it would turn, and it would hold on. And Sunil would just bowl 4 overs for 17, 18 (runs).”
The 45-year-old former India captain said that when Gautam Gambhir was the franchise captain, he would choose Sunil Narine whenever KKR was in a sticky situation. He said,
“Whenever Gambhir was under pressure. When Gambhir would need a wicket – Narine. Death overs when you were looking for fast bowlers to finish – Narine. And Narine would give 6,7,8 runs in the last two overs, and change the complexion of the game.”
On the four foreign players for KKR – Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Mitchell Starc, Chris Lynn
Sourav Ganguly named four foreign players – Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Mitchell Starc, and Chris Lynn. He elaborated,
“Looking at the team combination that KKR have got, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell will play for sure. Mitchell starc would play for sure as well for KKR.”
“Sunil Narine is a match-winner. Andre Russell balances out the team at the end as an all-rounder. And KKR would surely need Mitchell Starc to bowl towards the end and death overs.”
On Chris Lynn being the fourth foreign player for KKR
Chris Lynn recently suffered a shoulder injury while playing for Australia in the Trans-Tasman T20I Tri-Series Final against New Zealand. However, reports followed that it was not a serious injury, and so Chris Lynn would not be undergoing any sort of surgeries to recover. Having said that, if the Australian basher recovers in time for IPL 2018, then Sourav Ganguly thinks that he would be the fourth foreign player for KKR. Ganguly said,
“If he plays well, then he will be the fourth foreign player for KKR. If Lynn goes out of form somehow, the KKR will look for someone else. But looking at the pitch at the Eden Garden (Kolkata), Chris Lynn would be familiar to the conditions as he plays in Australia, and the bounce and pace which will be present at the Eden Gardens wouldn’t surprise Lynn.”