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KKR send back Chopra,Bangar

After several conditioning camps and four IPL matches in South Africa,Kolkata Knight Riders’ director of cricket operations John Buchanan.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata |
April 27, 2009 11:50:29 pm

After several conditioning camps and four IPL matches in South Africa,Kolkata Knight Riders’ director of cricket operations John Buchanan has come to the conclusion that Aakash Chopra and Sanjay Bangar don’t fit into his scheme of things and has decided to send them home. The duo would be returning on Monday.

“They (Chopra and Bangar) are two very good senior international players,so Buchanan and the team management felt that if they are not going to have the opportunity to play,it’s unfair to keep them around,” KKR CEO Joy Bhattacharya said. He added that the decision was taken after the team management’s meeting with the two,who accepted the decision.

“Nobody is ever happy about going back,but they took it in the right frame of mind,” said Bhattacharya,while asserting that the players would be back for the third edition of the IPL as they had a three-year contract. As for the other Indian players in the team,Bhattacharya said that they were unlikely to face the axe. “Right now we are down to 10 Indians and out of them seven need to play. So we don’t think we will trim it,” he said.

Rough patch

KKR have been going through a rough patch,with their build-up being dominated by the controversy surrounding John Buchanan’s multiple-captain theory. They finally locked down on New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum for the job just before the tournament started,but the team itself has looked shaky,both on paper and in the field. The batting line-up has looked especially weak,with the team depending heavily on its top three — Chris Gayle,McCullum and Sourav Ganguly — and Brad Hodge to a lesser extent.

They were completely outplayed in the first match against the Deccan Chargers as all three of them failed. In the second,they rode on Gayle’s blast at the top to pick up points in a rain-shortened match against Kings XI Punjab. It was Ganguly who almost took them to victory single-handedly against Rajasthan,but none of the other batsmen have come up with meaningful contributions.

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