When the captaincy of the Kolkata Knight Riders was transferred from Sourav Ganguly to Gautam Gambhir in 2011, it marked the end of an era. KKR’s punt with Gambhir, whom they had bought for a whopping $2.4 million, could not have gone better for them. Gambhir led the team to two championship titles, in 2012 and 2014.
Now, the departure of Gambhir to Delhi Daredevils marks the end of another era for KKR. Manish Pandey was one candidate who could have been considered for captaincy but the Knight Riders let him go to the Sunrisers. A quick glance at KKR’s squad and you immediately notice that no one stands out. But they have to nominate a captain at the end of the day.
This article presents three players who can be considered for the skipper’s role.
KKR bought Dinesh Karthik for a hefty ₹7.4 crore. With Robin Uthappa already in the ranks, they now have two wicketkeepers to choose from. Karthik is one of the most consistent wicket-keeper batsmen in IPL history. The 2017 edition turned out well for him as he scored 361 runs at an average of 36.10 for Gujarat Lions.
But is he good enough to be considered for captaincy? The thing that goes in his favour is that he captains Tuti Patriots in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL). He captained them in the 2016 and 2017 seasons and hence has shown that he is not averse to leading a side.
Andre Russell was hit with a one-year ban for a doping violation due to which he had to miss the 2017 season of the IPL. Along with Ben Stokes, Russell is the most lethal pace bowling all-rounder doing the rounds in the international circuit. He has shown in the past seasons of the IPL and BBL that he is capable of turning a match around single-handedly.
But he is West Indian.
By leading Sunrisers Hyderabad to victory in 2016, David Warner proved that bringing in a foreign captain could do the trick for the side. Assigning the captaincy to Russell may be an out of the box move but that is what T20 cricket is all about.
Robin Uthappa might be KKR’s first choice if they decide to hand over the captaincy to an Indian player. Having been associated with KKR for the past four years, Uthappa is well-aware of the side’s culture which is one of the most important factors in a team’s success.
Uthappa made his ODI debut for India back in 2006 and as a result, has a rich experience of playing alongside many greats of the game. Attitude wise, Uthappa looks like a player who could do well if handed the additional responsibility of captaincy.