Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 Player Auction: Having the maximum number of youngsters in the team, Kolkata Knight Riders were tagged as one of the most underrated franchises in the IPL 2018. However, they changed everyone’s perception and stood out as one of the strongest teams of the tournament by finishing their campaign at No. 3 spot. Dinesh Karthik, who was captaining for the first time, stayed calm and composed made things easier for the team and advanced to the playoffs.

They have retained their key players like Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla amongst others, which means the core stays intact. They also retained young guns like Shubman Gill, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, and Kamlesh Nagarkoti.

Due to the weak middle order, KKR lost with a margin of just 14 runs to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the playoffs of IPL 2018. So, having a good amount of money left in their bank, they might look for some hard-hitter batsmen who can solidify their core strength in the upcoming auctions.  The auctions will be held on Tuesday, December 19.

Meanwhile, Kolkata has 12 slots (7 Indians and 5 Overseas) and Rs. 15.20 crore salary cap available. So. here are the top 5 players KKR could invest their money on:

1. Brendon McCullum:

It was the Kiwi pint-sized dynamo who set IPL on fire a decade back, with his mindboggling 158-run knock off 73 balls. A decade later, it would be intriguing to see if KKR shows inclination in getting the kiwi on board. Baz is one among the highly experienced players of this blockbuster league. He had played 109 IPL matches and has scored 2880 runs with the strike rate of 131.74, including two massive centuries.

2. Glenn Maxwell:

He is one of the most dangerous T20 batsmen in the world. He has a good amount of IPl experience, his 2014 IPL career earned him lots of Indian fans. He has that ability to swing the match to his side with the bat as well as the ball. Though, his current form made Delhi to release him from the team. Knowing the fact that KKR have a huge amount of money left in their bank, they might go for the big players like Maxwell, who can solidify their batting line-up and can be an x-factor for the team.

3. Dale Steyn: 

Arguably, he is the deadliest fast bowler in the world. He doesn’t need any introduction. KKR is in a need of an experienced pacer and Dale Steyn could be the best match for the team. His presence will give the boost to Indian young guns like Nagarkoti and Mavi.

4.  Heinrich Klaasen:

He shot to fame when he played an incredible knock against India when India toured South Africa earlier this year. He has all the makings of a great T20 player, he can improvise and adjust to situations. He can play spin well as he showed that he can tackle Kuldeep and Yuzvendra with ease. The Eden Gardens could offer spin and he could come in handy for the eastern franchise. KKR will certainly have a keen eye on him at the IPL Player Auctions.

5. Yuvraj Singh:

Though KKR has massive hitters like Russell and Chris Lynn but doesn’t have any typical middle-order batsmen who can drive the innings to a huge score in his own way. KKR could go for Yuvraj Singh, who can stabilize the innings as per the conditions required.