The Kolkata Knight Riders did not have a season to remember last time around as internal feuds, inconsistencies, injuries and some questionable selections meant that they failed to make the top four.
After starting off with a bang, things went haywire for the SRK-owned franchise as they lost six games in a row, which exposed their frailties in the unit.
The side relied too heavily on the exploits of West Indian star Andre Russell, and though he did guide them to a few sensational wins from the jaws of defeat, in the end, the pressure on him was all too visible.
The other batsmen blew hot and cold, while the pacers were unable to take advantage of the bounce of the Eden Gardens track. The lack of depth in the side came to the fore by the end of the edition, and the side needs a major overhaul as they look ahead to the upcoming auctions next month.
Here are a few players that they might release ahead of IPL 2020.
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#1 Joe Denly
Joe Denly's first-ever stint in the IPL ended rather abysmally as he was dismissed for no run off the only ball he faced in the season. He played just a game in IPL 2019 and had an outing to forget, as he failed to get going and never turned out in the KKR colours in the season again.
With a fixed opening pair of Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine turning out for KKR at the top for the last few years, and with Robin Uthappa and Shubman Gill capable of filling the slot in case of injury, it becomes difficult for Denly to break into the XI.
Though he is an outstanding all-rounder who has fared well in various T20 leagues around the world, scoring over 5000 runs in the format at an average of just over 28 with the help of four hundreds, he does not slot into KKR's scheme of things and it should not be a surprise if he is released ahead of the auctions.
#2 KC Cariappa
KC Cariappa played for KKR for the second time in his career after turning out for the franchise in 2015. Then, he had set the Karnataka Premier League aflutter with his mystery spin, and with the Eden track keeping slow and low till a few years ago, KKR broke the bank and finally got him for INR 2.4 crores. However, he was unable to have an impact then as he played just one game and gave away 28 runs.
He was picked for 2019 but faced a similar fate. Cariappa played just a solitary game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad and leaked 34 runs in two overs without getting any wicket. With KKR possessing spinners like Kuldeep Yadav, Narine and Piyush Chawla along with part-timer Nitish Rana, Cariappa's services might not be needed for the next edition. Also, with the Eden track not helping the spinners of late, Cariappa will just be an additional member in the franchise.
#3 Prithvi Raj Yarra
Andhra bowler Prithvi Raj Yarra made his List A debut for his state in 2018-19 and he did reasonably well in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, which prompted Kolkata Knight Riders to bid for him in the auctions. However, he turned out for just one game and there is not much to write about his performance.
He constantly bowled wide and short and was unable to create any kind of pressure against the Sunrisers Hyderabad batters. He conceded runs at a rate of 11.40, and he did not take the field for any game thereafter.
With speedster Kamlesh Nagarkoti expected to be fit for IPL 2020, and with Sandeep Warrier, Nagarkoti's replacement this year, likely to be retained too, KKR might just opt for a slightly more experienced seamer who can take advantage of the track on offer at Eden Gardens.
#4 Harry Gurney
Left-arm English pacer Harry Gurney came on board the KKR team after the Dinesh Karthik-led side bought him for INR 75 Lakhs. After the injury to South African speedster Anrich Nortje and Indian pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti, a lot of responsibility was pinned on Gurney's shoulders, but the player could not live up to his potential as he finished with just seven wickets.
The Nottingham player was expensive as well, conceding 238 runs at an economy rate of 8.81. He was unable to keep his nerves in pressure games and often leaked runs at the death, which proved to be the deciding factor in a few encounters.
KKR might release him and go for Nortje once again or might opt to buy an experienced player like Mitchell Starc. They will also be eyeing West Indian pacer Sheldon Cottrell, who has created quite a mark with by bowling nagging line and lengths this year.ha
#5 Carlos Brathwaite
The West Indian was picked up for INR 5 crore in the auctions for the 2019 IPL, presumably as a back-up to Andre Russell, whose encounters with injuries are well known. He played two games for KKR and went wicketless whilst also being expensive, conceding runs at just a little less than 10 an over.
He was also unable to perform with the bat in hand in the lower middle order, and KKR might want to let him go and search for another replacement for Russell.
Though Brathwaite played the humdinger knock in the 2016 World T20 Cup finals to help his team win the title and then churned out another magnificent showing with the bat against New Zealand this year in the World Cup, he has remained inconsistent and does not inspire confidence.
His IPL record does not make for good reading either. He averages just 13.92 with the bat in 16 games and has leaked runs at over 9 an over. He has been underwhelming and could be released by the team.