Kolkata Knight Riders keen to strengthen batting

Having learnt from their top-order failure last season, Kolkata Knight Riders coach John Buchanan on Monday said the team’s aim is to bolster their batting line-up in the second edition of the Indian Premier League.

The Knight Riders have roped in New South Wales all-rounder Moises Henriques and they are now eyeing England veteran Adam Hollioake.

“I have had discussions with Hollioake. I see that he has a real role in the franchise,” Buchanan told reporters after the Knight Riders’ first day trials at Eden Gardens.

“There is no doubt that our top-order batting was problem for us (last season). Virtually in every game, within first six overs we lost two-three wickets.

“It’s very much in our thinking that our top-order has to be as strong as it can be. While we may lose one or two international players we have to have our bench strength ready with Indian players,” the World Cup winning Australian coach said.

“Obviously, we are looking at the best possible blend. Last year, (Chris) Gayle, (Brendon) McCullum, (Ricky) Ponting, (Michael) Hussey were important part of top-order. We talked already about Hollioke. We have already roped in Henriques. So there is a blend of all-rounders. But in the end, we want a strong blend of Indian players. We are seeking Indian top order players, all-rounders, then of course, strike bowlers.”

The Shah Rukh Khan-owned KKR is conducting a three-day camp for 45 Indian youngsters who will be scrutinised during a three-day camp that began on Monday.

Revealing KKR’s plans for the coming years, Buchanan said his team’s main aim was to develop domestic talents through players selected at ‘three levels’ so that replacement would be ready.

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