One of the teams that retained four players ahead of the IPL 2022 auction were the Kolkata Knight Riders. Venkatesh Iyer, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell will don purple and gold for the next few seasons.
Along with the fact that Kolkata are looking for a new skipper, they are also in need of a safe pair of hands behind the stumps. With Dinesh Karthik not retained by the franchise, one of their agendas in the upcoming auction is to find a dependable gloveman who can bat as well.
Ahead of the IPL 2022 auction, we take a look at the three wicketkeepers that KKR can target.
#1 Sam Billings can be one of the wicketkeepers to buy during the IPL 2022 auction
England wicketkeeper Sam Billings is no stranger to playing in the IPL and Kolkata can look at buying the services of the former Delhi Capitals gloveman.
Billings can also come in handy with the bat. He has 334 runs to show from 19 IPL innings. His average of 17.58 and strike rate of 133.6 could further be bolstered if he plays in a settled position and KKR can use an attacking middle-order bat.
#2 Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock has been one of the most successful wicketkeeper-batters in recent years and comes in with rich experience.
He has played for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Mumbai Indians so far. KKR can target the wicketkeeper-bat during the IPL 2022 auction.
The 29-year old has also aggregated 2256 runs in 77 IPL matches at an average of 31 and a strike rate of 130. The Proteas international also has 16 half-centuries and a century to his name in the cash-rich league.
In addition, he’s been a safe bet behind the stumps and will also be their opening option along with Venkatesh Iyer.
#3 Jonny Bairstow
Another England gloveman who set the innings ablaze with the bat for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Despite the horrendous IPL 2021 season the side had, Bairstow was a bright spot and averaged 41.33 at a strike rate of 141.71.
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The catch, though, is whether he will play the entire season, considering reports saying that English players would not be available for the final stages of the tournament.