Quashing all predictions, Kolkata Knight Riders did not even bid for Ben Stokes, instead Delhi Daredevils, Rising Pune Supergiants fought it out but he went to RPS. He finally sold for Rs 14.5 cr. Ben Stokes may not be there for the entire season but franchises will want to have him in their team. Purists feel Ben Stokes is the left-handed version of Andrew Flintoff, a massive compliment! Teams like Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils will have him in their radar for sure, but the team we feel will go the distance for the big hitting English all rounder is Kolkata Knight Riders. Andre Russell’s ban will prompt KKR to really slog it out for this foreign all rounder, horses for courses, as they say!
Ben Stokes has a base price of Rs 2 cr and will surely sell at a premium. Things that will help him at the auction table is, he has just toured India so he has a fair idea of the conditions. Ben Stokes knows Eden Gardens better than any of the foreign players. Stokes can hit the ball a fair distance and he adds value with the ball in hand. He is ideally suited for T20 cricket because of his immaculate slower deliveries, slower cutters, which comes in handy at Eden Gardens, giving them another reason to go the distance for KKR.
Ben Stokes could really boost the KKR middle order which, without Andre Russell looks depleted. Ben Stokes can be just apt for the Shah Rukh Khan-franchisee. Apart from this, KKR will look to get a Indian seamer onboard, so they could look at Irfan Pathan, but if he comes costly they may have a change of mind.
Can Kolkata Knight Riders lighten their wallet in the quest of Ben Stokes?