Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) chief coach Brendon McCullum has admitted that it was disappointing for the franchise to lose young and talented opener Shubman Gill.
Gill played 58 matches for the KKR in the lucrative League (IPL) before the two-time champions decided not to retain him. He was later picked by the new IPL team -– Ahmedabad — as their third draft pick for Rs 8 crore.
In a live session for KKR, McCullum said, “You need to plan as you’re going to lose a lot of players. It was disappointing to lose Shubman Gill. But that’s the way life is sometimes and we will be well prepared for the upcoming auction.”
The KKR has retained four players, including two overseas cricketers, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, spending Rs 42 crore ahead of the mega auction. All-rounder Venkatesh Iyer and spinner Varun Chakravarthy have also been retained by the team.
“Sunil Narine and Andre Russell have been proven campaigners for a decade. We have all seen what Varun Chakravarthy is capable of in the last two seasons. Venkatesh Iyer was probably the story of the second half of IPL 2021,” said McCullum.
“Certainly not easy to find a backup for someone like Andre Russell and that’s why he is such an important re-signing. When he is at his best, he is effectively two world-class players in one. It’s really challenging to find a backup for these players. That will be the topic of our conversation. If Dre Russ is out due to injury, you could need two players, a batter and a bowler, and try to balance things out accordingly,” added the KKR coach.