KKR CEO Breaks Silence On Rs 24.75 Crore Investment In Under-Fire Mitchell Starc

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Mitchell Starc was bought for INR 24.75 crore by KKR© BCCI/Sportzpics

Under scrutiny for his poor show in the ongoing season, IPL's costliest buy Mitchell Starc on Monday received the backing of Kolkata Knight Riders' managing director and CEO Venky Mysore, who said they don't think of him from an "investment standpoint". KKR had bought Starc for a record Rs 24.75 crore but it always came with a caveat as the Aussie left-arm quick had limited experience in the shortest format and was making a comeback to IPL after nine years. "He's a superstar and he's a quality player," Mysore said on the sideline of Knight Golf event at RCGC here.

"We don't think of it from an investment standpoint, because you go to the auction and things happen in the auction, which is not in the hands of the player, nor is it in the hands of anybody else.

"We just felt that an addition to the team like Mitchell Starc would add a lot of value, which it has. I mean, his presence itself in the lineup adds a different dynamic to the team, and there were specific skills that the support staff were looking for. So, we think we had that." Starc's rustiness in the T20 format came to fore as he conceded 100 runs without taking any wicket from his eight overs in the first two matches.

It turned from bad to worse on Sunday when he leaked 54 runs from 16 balls at Eden Gardens, and in the final over, RCB No 9 Karn Sharma with little batting pedigree smashed him for three sixes in four balls.

Starc, however, managed to salvage some pride taking a low return catch to dismiss Karn that eventually sealed a dramatic one-run victory.

"There are times when games are up and down. Everybody gets taken to the cleaners at times, and there are other times they come and just do their thing and win games for the team. So we're super happy having him in the setup," Mysore said.

With five wins from seven matches at the halfway mark, the second placed KKR look a transformed side under mentor and two-time title winning former captain Gautam Gambhir.

Gambhir, who last represented the side in 2017, returned to his former franchise as a team mentor, relinquishing the same position at Lucknow Super Giants this season.

Mysore said Gambhir has added a lot of "weight" to the side.

"I think the consistency that is shown, I think we look like a more balanced and settled side this year. Needless to say, Gautam (Gambhir) coming in adds a lot of weight purely from the intensity that he brings, the experience that he brings.

"The winning attitude, I mean, he and Chandu (head coach Chandrakant Pandit) are both very, very determined and very desperate to win.

"They have a great support staff around them. So, I think sometimes these things all have to come together. It's very difficult to pinpoint to one thing and say, this is what made the difference. But very happy with where we are right now, so fingers crossed," Mysore said. PTI TAP ATK ATK

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