All IPL teams undergo renovations. When you don’t win the title for more than two years, you tend to do that. Till last season, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) — despite appointing a new captain in Dinesh Karthik in 2018 — had players from the Gautam Gambhir era. The current side finally looks fresh out of the oven. There is no Robin Uthappa or Chris Lynn, or Jacques Kallis as coach. And Nagarkoti is back.
McCullum will start his maiden season as KKR coach with Abhishek Nayar as the supporting act. Among other things, Nayar is particularly happy for Nagarkoti.
“All the youngsters are brilliant in the side. Kamlesh, Shivam (Mavi) and all the boys know how special they are and what they can do. I think it is great that Kamlesh is fit and hopefully he will remain fit for the IPL. Personally, I will be very happy to see the kid finally getting to play after two years. These are exciting times ahead.
“We don’t differentiate in terms of who is more special. Everyone, if fit, has the ability to do special things in our team,” Nayar, the assistant coach of KKR, said.
To enhance the title chances, the KKR think tank broke the bank to hire the services of world-class players Pat Cummins and Eoin Morgan. The Australian pacer, bought for ₹15.5 crore, became the most expensive player in the IPL in the December auction.
Cummins and Morgan are expected to help skipper Dinesh Karthik in decision-making.
“One of the things we were looking for the team was leadership quality in the group. Brendon and Dinesh were very upfront about it. We thought Morgan and Cummins could add a lot of value. One is a World Cup winner and the other is the No. 1 Test bowler and vice-captain of Australia. This is what we needed. Hopefully, we will have a great season,” said Nayar.
“I don’t think the approach will be very different, but this is one question that Brendon can answer better. He will take the final call. I will assist him and give him the information and support he requires. I think you can expect good, positive cricket like the team has been playing for the past few seasons,” he said.
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