Except Gambhir, the Kolkata outfit will also miss the services of England international Eoin Morgan, who will be out of order after suffering an injury during the Test series against India.
However, despite the absence of 2 key batsmen, KKR will get the experience of Jacques Kallis, who is promoted as skipper of the side in place of the injured Gambhir. And the likes of Manoj Tiwary, Ryan ten Doeschate and Yusuf Pathan will provide strength to the team’s middle order.
KKR, who finished 4th in this year’s IPL, will also bank on Brett Lee and Laxmipathy Balaj, who transformed their loyalties to the Kolkata-based franchisee after being involved in the proceedings with Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings respectively. And Rajat Bhatia can come into play in the middle overs with his armed medium pace.
On the other hand, the Auckland Aces too have international players in their side, with captain Gareth Hopkins, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Daryl Tuffey and Kyle Mills. The key for the Aces will be to adjust with the spin-friendly tracks of India as soon as they can.
The possible squad of Kolkata Knight Riders: Jacques Kallis, Rajat Bhatia, Laxmipathy Balaji, Manoj Tiwary, Ryan ten Doeschate, Yusuf Pathan, Iqbal Abdulla, Shakib Al Hasan, Brett Lee, Manvinder Bisla, Brad Haddin, Shami Ahmed, and Jaidev Unadkat.
The possible squad of Auckland Aces: Andre Adams, James Adams, Michael Bates, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Roneel Hira, Gareth Hopkins, Anaru Kitchen, Bruce Martin, Chris Martin, Kyle Mills, Colin Munro, Daryl Tuffey, Rob Quiney, and Lou Vincent.