IPL 2022: Why KKR Should Have Retained Lockie Ferguson Instead Of Sunil Narine
The countdown has begun for the most-awaited mega auction in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL). As per the new rules, each of the 8 teams were able to retain a maximum of four players for IPL 2022. Some sides went with all four while others have retained a couple of them. Some retentions make sense while some will leave you wondering.
One of the four franchises to employ all four retention slots, Kolkata Knight Riders ( KKR) chose two batting all-rounders and one bowling all-rounder. However, the problem is none of them are well settled in their secondary roles. Andre Russell is injury prone, Sunil Narine, as a batsman is more miss than hit, and Venkatesh Iyer has a negligible bowling sample size to be judged. Their other pick Varun Chakravarthy has a similar bowling style as that of Narine. See Cricket – BBL points table 2021 here.
KKR’s fast bowling has been in shambles
KKR didn’t retain any fast bowler despite the fact that their pace bowling had been in shambles. So securing someone like Lockie Ferguson instead of Narine would have been the best option for them.
Since 2020, Ferguson averages 19.6, easily the best for a KKR bowler. He has the ability to fox batsmen with both pace and guile in all three phases of the game. For the past two seasons, he has been KKR’s best bowler. Instead, the Sharukh Khan-owned side went with Russell and Narine.
While releasing a player like Russell may be dangerous, his injury has plagued KKR over the last seasons. The West Indian continued to battle with a knee injury in the 2020 edition and again suffered a hamstring injury in IPL 2021. This meant KKR not only couldn’t use his power-hitting abilities at the death but also missed his bowling.
Lockie’s acquisition would have ensured the much-needed fast bowler’s berth. Alternatively, releasing one of Russell or Narine would have freed up their purse to fill the auction’s most valuable spot.
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Sunil Narine’s performance has dipped over the years in IPL
Sunil Narine would be right up there with some of the game’s legends if the IPL had a Hall of Fame. While others conformed to the shortest format, Narine created his own world within the shortest format. Narine has become a household name in Kolkata after winning two IPL titles and being a key part of the Kolkata Knight Riders’ golden era. Here’s today cricket betting tips coming from betting experts.
But Narine has lost his Midas touch with the ball ever since he remodeled his action. The off-spinner was reported for suspect bowling action in the now-defunct, Champions League in 2014. He was once again reported during the 2015 IPL and also after an ODI match against Sri Lanka in the same year. His efficacy with the ball appears to have radically changed as a result of the change in his action. With each match, he appears more vulnerable. The mystery is gone and batsmen are playing him with ease. Narine now has gone from offensive to defensive.
*Note: The average of a bowler is calculated by the number of runs conceded per wicket taken.
One can say that Narine had a decent 2021 IPL in the UAE. But one should also note that Narine did most of the damage at Sharjah, which is a low, slow wicket. The 2022 season will be played in India and KKR’s home ground, Eden Gardens isn’t conducive to spin bowling anymore.
Eden pitch isn’t favourable for spin anymore
Gone are those days when the Eden Gardens used to be a den for the spinners. Ever since the surface was relayed in 2015, the pitch has changed its character. The venue has become a nightmare for spinners so much so that it has destroyed the careers of many spinners. Once he was the backbone of the Indian cricket team, but now he is nowhere seen. We are talking about Kuldeep Yadav. The left-arm wrist-spinner endured one of the worst seasons in 2019 and from there, his career went downhill. In that season, KKR lost the majority of matches at their home ground. Read our full 10cric review here.
The current Eden pitch has plenty of grass which will help the seamers. This again makes us reiterate that KKR may regret releasing Ferguson, who could have been the X-factor. He is more of a hit the deck bowler and would have enjoyed bowling at Eden Gardens.
KKR, who will enter with a purse of ₹48 crore in the mega auction should go big for Ferguson unless he has already been picked by the one of the new franchises ( Lucknow, Ahmedabad). IPL 2022 is expected to be much bigger and better than previous editions.