5 Players KKR might release ahead of the next IPL season

5 Players KKR might release ahead of the next IPL season

KKR couldn't make it to the playoffs of IPL 2020.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had a rather anti-climatic end to their 2020 IPL campaign. A semi-moderate tally of 7 wins in the league stage saw them finish at the 5th spot at the points table- virtually guaranteed to secure a spot in the play0offs. Sadly though, a series of unfortunate results in the tournament’s final two group-stage matches saw them falling short of the coveted qualification berth, thanks to their uninspiring Net Run Rate (NRR).

With their campaign now done and dusted, there are several observations one can make of the squad regarding what they should/ shouldn’t have done. From the looks of it, the post-Gautam Gambhir era of the KKR seems centred around the team’s budding Indian stars. Under the head coach Brendon McCullum, the Knight Riders’ think tank seems intent on empowering a core group of young match winners, who are ably supported by an ensemble of quality international names.

Despite a not-so-impressive playoff record in the past 2 editions, KKR have done a moderately successful job thus far in grooming a batch of match-winners in their side. That said, it’s equally important for the team to address its prevailing balance issues, so that they can return stronger for the next year. And a good area to start those preparations would be identifying the players they will release ahead of the auctions next year.

Here’s a list of five such players whom KKR might release:

1. Tom Banton

Tom Banton
Tom Banton. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Touted as a successor to the legendary Kevin Pietersen, Tom Banton, the English hard-hitter arrived into the 2020 IPL with much hype around him. Unfortunately though, he didn’t have much of an impact in KKR’s sloppy batting campaign.

The 21-year-old Somerset batsman featured in two of Knight Riders’ games- both coming against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)- and could only score 18 runs. It wasn’t an ideal situation for the young Turk, as his batting position was shuffled around in both games. Neither did he have an assured place in the playing XI, which clearly took a toll on his confidence.

But as unlucky as it is, should KKR decide to free up some of their overseas slots for the next edition, Banton looks like a certain omission from their next season’s roster. KKR already has a long list of openers and top-order batsmen in their ranks.

It makes more sense for the team to buff its foreigner-contingency with a few extra middle-order options. And to achieve that, there’s a strong likelihood that KKR will consider relinquishing Banton from his incumbent position in the team.