Kolkata Knight Riders are one of IPL’s most successful and consistent franchises. Ever since Gautam Gambhir took over the captaincy in 2011, KKR have followed a rigorous auction policy and have made only a few big-money signings. Like any other franchise, they have also made a few flop signings, albeit fewer than their competitors. In this article, we will look at the six worst signings of Kolkata Knight Riders.
#6 Murali Karthik for 1.7C in 2008
Karthik represented KKR for three seasons from 2008 to 2010. KKR did not qualify for the knockout stages in any of these editions. The lack of wicket-taking bowlers was one of the main reasons why KKR underperformed severely despite possessing big batting stars. Karthik had a healthy economy of 6.63 during his time at KKR, but failed to produce game-changing spells. He picked up just 16 wickets in 26 matches and did not satisfy the expectations of the fans.
#5 Mitchell Johnson for 2C in 2018
Buying a fast bowler who is 36 years old was always going to be high risk, but KKR took the gamble with Mitchell Johnson. A familiar story unravelled as Johnson was clearly not at his best and took just 2 wickets in 6 matches and conceded more than 10 runs per over. He soon retired from all forms of cricket, but he is one of the worst signings of Kolkata Knight Riders, as they could have easily bought a younger fast bowler in that auction.
#4 Vinay Kumar for 2.8C in 2014
KKR paid a significant sum for Vinay Kumar in the hope that he would replicate his record with RCB. But Vinay Kumar managed just 7 wickets in 9 games at a high economy of 8.78. Injuries did disrupt his season and his IPL career trajectory changed after his 2014 stint with KKR. KKR picked him up for 1C in 2018 but he managed just 3.5 overs.
#3 Mashrafe Mortaza for 2.94C in 2009
Mortaza’s only IPL season was so disastrous that he did not feature in any of the following seasons. Mortaza was the talk of the town after his World Cup performances, and a lot was expected of him at the 2009 IPL. KKR wanted him to be their premium bowler, but he played just a single game in that IPL due to internal conflicts.
In that one game, he conceded 58 runs in four overs. Adding to his woes, he conceded 21 runs in the final over of the chase, thus effectively becoming a villain. Needless to say, KKR were reluctant to give him another chance.
#2 Brad Haddin for 1.5 C in 2011
KKR paid 1.5 C for Haddin in 2011, just for him to warm the bench for three seasons. He played just a solitary game during that period, scoring 18 runs. KKR arguably under-utilized Haddin’s talent, as he was playing some of his best cricket from 2011 to 2013. Everyone thought Haddin would be Kolkata’s first-choice keeper, but the uncapped Manvinder Bisla was given consistent opportunities over Haddin.
#1 Carlos Brathwaite for 5C in 2019
After the final of the 2016 T-20 World Cup, Brathwaite became a household name, but he simply could not live up to the expectations. His stint with SRH was a failure and in 2019 he became one of the worst signings of Kolkata Knight Riders.
He played two games for KKR and performed terribly with the bat. He bowled just three overs and conceded 29 runs. His medium-pace bowling was proven to be highly ineffective, while his batting was extremely inconsistent.