In the later stages, some of the results had gone Kolkata's way and they just had to win their last league game but unfortunately, they failed to do so. Kolkata Knight Riders finished with 12 points from 14 games and lost the fourth spot to Sunrisers Hyderabad owing to Net Run Rate. There were a few overseas players who didn’t perform to their potential in the KKR team. So, let’s have a look at three unsold overseas players who could have helped KKR reach the playoffs. Kolkata Knight Riders who are one of the consistent team of the IPL alongside Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians didn’t make the playoffs this year after quite a while. They have made the playoffs almost every year since 2011 but this time they just missed the bus to the Top 4. They had started on a brilliant note as they won four out of their first five but suddenly the tide changed and they lost six in a row. Tension started increasing in their camp and there were talks about the team not trusting the captain Dinesh Karthik enough. Andre Russell’s press conference didn’t help as he revealed quite a few things. It doesn’t help as a team if you are too much dependent on just one single person just as KKR were on Russell.
#3. Rilee Rossouw
Rilee Rossouw is a left-handed South African batsman who is known to play in various T20 leagues. He is an aggressive batsman by nature who scores runs pretty quickly. He can bat anywhere in the top order but prefers to open the batting. He played for Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League in 2018 and scored 558 runs in 14 games. He was the leading run-scorer in that tournament. He has played a few games in the IPL. After Sunil Narine’s failures up at the top KKR were struggling to find a proper partner for Chris Lynn. Eventually, they got the youngster Shubman Gill to open the batting but Rilee Rossouw wouldn’t have been a bad option with the Australian right-hander. Those two could have made a great opening combination which would have helped them make it to the playoffs.
#2. Adam Zampa
When you talk about white-ball cricket or especially T20 cricket there is a special mention of the mystery spinners or the wrist spinners. It is a must to have at least one wrist spinner in your team. Kolkata Knight Riders had not only one but three spinners in their team out of which two failed miserably. India’s premier chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav struggled throughout the IPL as he was benched towards the business end of the tournament. Piyush Chawla, who has been the unsung hero for the KKR team over the years, wasn’t at his best as the batsmen were talking him on pretty easily. When KKR dropped Kuldeep they didn’t have any significant back-up option in their squad and that’s where an experienced bowler like Adam Zampa would have helped them. Zampa had a good time with the Rising Pune Supergiants team and he could have used his international experience to help KKR reach the playoffs.
#1. Chris Woakes
Before the IPL started, KKR were pushed on the backfoot due to a number of injuries to their quick bowlers. They lost the young U-19 duo of Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi for the whole IPL whereas South Africa’s pace sensation Anrich Nortje too was ruled out of the IPL. The options which they had in their squad weren’t the best going around. Lockie Ferguson who is an international bowler didn’t come to the party for KKR. Same was the case with Prasidh Krishna was really below par in his performance. Harry Gurney seemed to be the best out of the three but he too wasn’t a match-winner by any sorts. KKR should have gone to an experienced bowler like Chris Woakes to do the job. The pitch at Eden Gardens was suiting the quick bowlers and Woakes definitely would have come in handy. In fact, Woakes has been a part of the KKR setup previously so it made all the sense to go back to him as he would have helped them make the playoffs.