Gambhir says record IPL price no burden for Starc

Kolkata Knight Riders’s bold move to acquire Mitchell Starc for a record sum is expected to yield significant dividends, according to team mentor Gautam Gambhir. Reunited with the Kolkata-based franchise, Gambhir is confident that the Australian pace spearhead will deliver, devoid of the pressure of expectations surrounding the amount he commanded at the auction.

Splurging an astonishing Rs 24.75 crore on Starc made him the most expensive buy in the history of IPL auctions. The New South Welshman, who represented Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2014 and 2015, boasts a commendable record in the cash-rich IPL, having claimed 34 wickets in 27 matches at an average of just over 20.

Expressing faith in Starc’s abilities, Gambhir remarked upon his arrival at the Kolkata airport, “I had already said on the auction table that he (Starc) is an X-factor, and I’m sure he’s going to deliver. There’s no pressure of a price tag. I hope he replicates his international cricket success for KKR.”

Gambhir’s return to Kolkata ahead of the 2024 campaign was met with a warm reception from the KKR fans. Back in the fold as the mentor of the two-time IPL champions, Gambhir’s appointment was confirmed by the franchise in November last year. Having led KKR from 2011 to 2017, Gambhir’s tenure saw significant success. He returns to shape the team’s fortunes in a new capacity.

With high hopes pinned on Starc’s fiery bowling, KKR supporters eagerly anticipate their team’s opening fixture against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on March 23 in Kolkata, hoping for a stellar performance from their new recruit to kick-start their IPL campaign on a winning note.

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