Former Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody believes Gautam Gambhir played a big role in Kolkata Knight Riders’ decision to retain veteran allrounder Andre Russell and Sunil Narine.

Both the players were widely expected to be released by the Kolkata-based outfit after failing to live up to the expectations in recent seasons of the IPL. Since 2020, Russell has managed to score only two fifties for Kolkata Knight Riders. In the last season of the competition, he managed 227 runs and 7 wickets.

On the other hand, Sunil Narine managed to pick up only 11 wickets in 14 games in IPL 2023. With the bat, he managed to score only 21 runs. In IPL 2022, he had picked up only 9 wickets in 14 games while in IPL 2020, he had picked up just 5 wickets in 10 games. Speculations were rife that Kolkata Knight Riders might release the duo but the franchise has decided against it.

Tom Moody on Gautam Gambhir’s influence in KKR retaining Andre Russell and Sunil Narine:

With KKR springing a surprise by retaining both Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, Tom Moody has said Gautam Gambhir might have played a key role in the decision. The former KKR captain was recently appointed as the mentor of the two-time IPL champions. Both Russell and Narine had started their stints with KKR under the captaincy of Gambhir and were key members of his team.

“They both have been phenomenal cricketers for KKR. I feel that Gambhir has been quite pivotal in the retention of Russell and Narine. Gambhir understands them, he’s played with them, he’s captained them and he’ll be able to get the best out of them,” said Tom Moody to ESPNcricinfo.

“I think we’ll see a different outcome in 2024 with regards to what Russell brings to the table. The only hesitation I have is not skill. It’s whether he can hold together physically because we’ve seen him break down on a couple of occasions over recent years and it’s been quite alarming. His bowling has been pretty limited as well, and they haven’t had the access to his full quota of overs,” Moody added.

Here’s the list of players retained and released by KKR ahead of IPL 2024:

Kolkata Knight Riders Retained Players: Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Shreyas Iyer, Jason Roy, Sunil Narine, Suyash Sharma, Anukul Roy, Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer, Harshit Rana, Vaibhav Arora, Varun Chakravarthy.

Kolkata Knight Riders Released Players: Shakib Al Hasan, Litton Das, Aarya Desai, David Wiese, Shardul Thakur, Narayan Jagadeesan, Mandeep Singh, Kulwant Khejroliya, Lockie Ferguson, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Johnson Charles.

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By David

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