IPL 2023 Auction: KKR need some pace support, Shardul, Lockie good options, says Sanjay Manjrekar

With batters like Venkatesh Iyer, Gurbaz, Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer, and Andre Russell in their lineup, former India star Sanjay Manjrekar believes that the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) need some pace support and therefore they should go for pace-bowling allrounders like Shardul Thakur and Lockie Ferguson in the upcoming IPL 2023 Auction at Kochi on December 23.

Speaking exclusively on Star Sports show ‘Game Plan – Auction Special’, Manjrekar spoke on how KKR will approach the auction with the limited funds they have and the replacements they will be looking for in this year’s auction.

“When I look at KKR’s playing eleven, Venkatesh Iyer, Gurbaz, Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer, Andre Russell, the batting looks OK, Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy are there. So, I think it’s some pace support is what they need and understandably that’s where they pay the big bucks, so you can understand that,” Manjrekar said.

He said the franchise should not go overboard with their selection and spend too much.

“See, it’s a performance that we’ve seen KKR with regards to the auction, they’ve paid seven crore for (Shivam) Mavi as well, so they tend to go slightly overboard, I don’t think they are the best team at the auction table. Mumbai Indians for a long time, CSK, have had that reputation of being really good at the auctions,” he said

“But having said that, I think Shardul Thakur is a proven material, I know he didn’t have a great time with Delhi capitals and also for India, not at the top of his game, but in Indian conditions, considering his danger with the bat, perhaps he is somebody that you will say ‘oh okay its worth spending that.’

“Lockie (Ferguson) was with them earlier, Lockie, we have seen have a good time with KKR but didn’t quite do his part for his new franchise. So, it’s a bit of a gamble there,” he added.

The two-time IPL winners, KKR have a budget of INR 7.05 crore — the smallest among all ten teams in the IPL 2023 Auction. They have as many as 11 slots available and can buy a maximum of three overseas players.

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