Kolkata Knight Riders won IPL 2014 © IANS
Kolkata Knight Riders won IPL 2014 © IANS

The Indian Premier League (IPL) Player Auction 2015 proved to be an interesting affair, with some teams making some smar buys. Defending champions, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), too had a good session with few interesting purchases. Ayush Gupta looks at their team for 2015.

The speciality of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) is that it has become a team of less popular players, but a team with quality and unity, that makes them top contenders for the title. IPL 2015 Auction: Full list of players bought by KKR for IPL 8

The team bought seven players during the auction, with a few surprising purchases in the form of the retired veteran Australian chinaman, Brad Hogg, for Rs 50 lakh. Apparently, it was done to act as a back-up to their star spinner, Sunil Narine, who is currently serving a ban following his suspect action. Also among the purchase were the four all-rounders in the form of Kiwi James Neesham, Aditya Garhwal, Sumit Narwal, and Vaibhav Rawal. The only genuine batsman to be purchased by the team was, Sheldon Jackson for Rs 15 lakh. IPL 2015 Player Auction full list of players bought by each team

However, the surprise came when they bid a ridiculously high amount for an uncapped Indian spinner, KC Cariappa, hardly known to anyone. After a tough tussle with Delhi Daredevils, KKR’s desperate attempt won them the player for a whopping Rs 2.4 crore despite his base price being just Rs 10 lakh. The mystery spinner from Karnataka, who played the Karnataka Premier League last year, impressed the management during the trials before the Champions League T20, last year and was handsomely rewarded for his talent and performance by KKR in this year’s auction. Cariappa is yet to play First-Class or List-A cricket.

Clearly, KKR puts their onus on the all-rounders as they have been doing for the past four years. In order to strengthen their batting order on the slow tracks of Eden Gardens, KKR mostly focused on converting their team into an all-round team in order to make sure that they don’t flatter during the batting stages and chase any stiff target comfortably down as well as add piles of runs on the board on any track.

Possible strategy: To strengthen the batting line-up and make an all-round team.

Strength: The talented batting line-up means that KKR continue to remain favourites.

Weakness: Inconsistency in the fast-bowling department.

Surprise Selection: KC Cariappa — not so much a mystery spinner as a mysterious one!

Complete coverage of IPL 2015

(Ayush Gupta is a reporter at CricketCountry. A passionate supporter of Manchester United, he idolises Roger Federer)