The Kolkata Knight Riders are not only on a sticky wicket as far as their semi-final prospects are concerned, they now have a problem of plenty in the foreigners’ slots also with New Zealand wicket keeper-batsman Brendon McCullum making himself available for selection.
The exclusion of the hard-hitting Kiwi from the KKR playing eleven against Kings XI Punjab at the Eden Gardens Sunday has raised a debate after the hosts lost despite putting up a mammoth total.
The New Zealand vice-captain, who holds the world record of maximum runs in a Twenty20 match (73 ball 158 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore) in the inaugural edition of the cash-rich IPL, arrived from New Zealand after playing a Test series against Australia.
According to the rulebook of the IPL, a franchise can field only four foreign players along with seven Indians.
Now every franchise has to deal with this problem of plenty in terms of fileding foreign players, with many of their overseas recruits returning from their international commitments midway into the tournament.
But the Shah Rukh Khan owned franchise, it seems is just not being able to maintain the correct balance of the team.
Veteran Indian off-spinner and a member of the legendary spin quartet Erapalli Prasanna said KKR are a good team only on paper.
"You need to have a balanced side in order to perform in the IPL. Only purchasing renowned players won’t help,” said Prasanna, who had 189 scalps in 49 tests.
Prasanna, who was Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi’s favourite weapon in the late 1960s, expressed unhappiness over the foreign buys of the KKR.
"They have purchased wrong players. The winning combination is just not there.” feels the legend.
Asked who was he referring to as “wrong players?", he said: “I cannot mention any names.”