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Kolkata Knight Riders, on Thursday, brought back former Knights Shakib Al Hasan and Sheldon Jackson, besides buying 6 more players during the IPL 2021 Auction to complete a 25-member squad.

Team CEO Venky Mysore shed some light on the buys at the conclusion of the auction and said, “People were commenting that we had the smallest purse, but that usually happens when you retain the biggest squad and you are happy with that. We were looking for some specific types of gaps to fill. For us, bringing Shakib back to KKR was a big thing. All of us know the quality of Shakib. He backs up three of our foreign players (Eoin Morgan, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell). He brings us that variety with his left-arm spin and experience and his ability to bat.”

Bringing a seasoned campaigner like Harbhajan Singh to the squad has now bolstered the off-spin department as far as the domestic players are concerned. Mysore felt with Harbhajan joining the squad there would be a lot of experience in the bowling. “The focus of the think tank was a little lean, little more towards experience and from that perspective we are very happy,” he said.

Since the foreign coaches and staff were mostly unavailable this year, the KKR management stayed in touch with Head Coach Brendon McCullum, Skipper Eoin Morgan and Vice-captain Dinesh Karthik over virtual calls.

“We had a quick wrap up call. All our coaches were on zoom, including the captain and vice-captain. Everyone was very happy with the squad we already had and these additions will help us. This is the first time we have gone full squad with 25 and a lot of it has to do with the fact that there is pandemic and a bubble. So, getting replacements won’t be that easy. Overall, everyone is happy,” Mysore signed off.