Confusion persists in Kolkata Knight Riders camp

We all knew that the Kolkata Knight Riders have no captain. On Monday, it became obvious that they are not sure about team composition as well.

The level of confusion that exists in the KKR ranks was highlighted by the fact that they could not even come up with the names of the players who will be travelling to South Africa for a two-week camp there before the final squad for IPL-II is announced.

According to reliable sources, serious differences between power-brokers in the KKR camp has led to a stalemate. Adding to the problem are differences between John Buchanan and Sourav Ganguly over the choice of some fringe players.

After differing bigtime over the captaincy issue, Buchanan and Ganguly apparently disagreed over the inclusion of veteran Sanjay Bangar who is a few months short of 37.

While Ganguly expressed his faith in Bangar’s experience and allround abilities, Buchanan, it is learnt, refused to toe the line as the Railways allrounder had failed to impress KKR’s support staff during practice.

However, Bangar may still make the cut, which may now be applied at 26 with controversial off-spinner Mohnish Parmar, Bengal batsman Debabrata Das and Mumbai left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah missing out on the all-expenses paid two-week ‘African Safari’.

The team will leave in two batches. While Buchanan along with a few players will leave in the early hours of Wednesday, Ganguly along with others will leave on April 5.

“We have decided that we will neither reveal the size nor the names of the players who will be going to South Africa. We will reveal our final squad on April 14 or 15 after the conclusion of the camp in Bloemfontein,” said KKR CEO Joy Bhattacharya.

The confusion in the KKR ranks in understandable. The quality of the fringe players is so poor that the think-tank is struggling to separate the wheat from the chaff.

They, however, have only themselves to blame, for it was Buchanan and Co who chose to register as many as 56 players (including foreign players) for IPL-II.

Parmar’s selection was a classic case of lack of foresight. Despite knowing that BCCI has barred him because of a suspect action, the KKR top brass invested Rs 60 lakh in the youngster in a three-year deal. With the team management struggling to name a 24 or 26-member squad, one wonders what sort of an approach they will adopt while picking their final squad or, more importantly, the final XI.

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