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The former Indian cricket Sanjay Manjrekar believes that Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) decision to spend big on the likes of Lockie Ferguson and Shardul Thakur is understandable but he also pointed out that the franchise tended to go overboard with past signings like Shivam Mavi.
The two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions finished the 2022 season in the seventh position with just six wins from the opening eight matches. KKR management has already started the preparation for the upcoming edition of the tournament by signing three players via trade. Ferguson, Shardul and Rahmanullah Gurbaz cost them INR 20.75 crore and now KKR are left with only INR 7.05 crore ahead of the upcoming IPL 2023 mini-auction, which is scheduled on December 23 in Kochi.
KKR spent big bucks on the signings of Shivam Mavi and Pat Cummins during the 2022 IPL mega auction but the performances from both the pacers were below average. Sanjay gave Mavi's example to rate KKR's business in past IPL auctions as the youngster cost INR 7 crore but he featured in only six games and took five wickets at a poor economy rate of 10.31 in IPL 2022.
"I don't think KKR's auction performance has been the best in IPL history like it used to be for the Mumbai Indians or CSK. You can ignore the last performance. When KKR spent seven crores for Shivam Mavi and then released him, you come to know that they tend to go slightly overboard," Sanjay said during the show on Star Sports.
I can understand why they put a big price on Shardul and Ferguson: Sanjay Manjrekar
As expected, KKR released Mavi and Cummins is not available for the 2023 season, so Sanjay feels that the signing of Ferguson and Thakur is understandable. He stated that Shardul can be a dangerous all-rounder for KKR but feels that spending big bucks on Ferguson is a gamble from the franchise.
"Shardul Thakur is a tried-and-tested player. His last season was not that special and his Indian season was also not that great, but he can be quite dangerous in the all-rounder's role. He (Thakur) bowls in the death overs. He is hit-and-miss but I can understand why they put a big price on him. Lockie Ferguson was there with them but after that played for a different franchise, there I feel it is a gamble," Sanjay added.