The Telegraph
Friday , February 14 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Knight Riders pin hopes on bowlers

Chris Lynn: Coach’s choice

Bangalore: A formidable pace attack, good spinners... Those are the pluses for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), going into the next three editions of the IPL.

The franchise’s batting, however, isn’t intimidating and the two ’keepers (Robin Uthappa, Manvinder Singh Bisla) aren’t outstanding in anybody’s book.

So, did KKR finish with inspired buys in the two-day auction for IPL VII and beyond? No.

In fact, the general feeling was that the franchise just hadn’t been smart and got left behind by teams such as the Delhi DareDevils and the Kings XI Punjab.

And, of course, the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who have the most awesome batting line-up.

Venky Mysore, KKR’s CEO, though, is quite happy.

“Auctions have their own way of working, but we’re quite happy... Our bowling is very good and we’ve got hitters like Ryan ten Doeschate and Andre Russell to back up Gauti (captain Gautam Gambhir) and Jacques Kallis,” he told The Telegraph at the ITC Gardenia.

Eyebrows were raised when the franchise bought batsman Chris Lynn of Australia for as much as Rs 1.30 crore, but it’s understood that he was bid for on coach Trevor Bayliss’s “strong recommendation.”

We’ll have to wait and see if Lynn provides the much needed X Factor to the 2012 champions.

Australian quick Pat Cummins was definitely a smart buy, in the very last round of re-auction. He’ll add to the firepower provided by Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav.

“We’ve got an attack for all conditions... We’re confident the pacers and spinners will deliver, whether IPL VII is held in two countries or in India only,” Mysore added.

He indicated that Dutchman Ryan would have a bigger role, unlike in the previous editions.

In the slog overs, KKR picked up Sayan Sekhar Mondal and Debabrata Das, ensuring some local representation, at least.

But will fans flock to the Eden to cheer Mondal and Das?