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Phil Salt Joins Kolkata Knight Riders as Jason Roy Pulls Out of IPL 2024

Phil Salt Joins Kolkata Knight Riders as Jason Roy Pulls Out of IPL 2024

Kolkata:  Maverick English batter Phil Salt, who had been sidelined during IPL auction earlier, has been roped in by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as a replacement for Jason Roy in the upcoming IPL 2024. The English batsman Roy withdrew from the tournament, citing “personal reasons,” paving the way for his fellow countryman Salt’s return to the Indian Premier League.

Salt, who remained unsold in the latest auction, last played in the IPL representing Delhi Capitals in the previous season. Kolkata Knight Riders secured his services at his reserve auction price of INR 1.5 crore (approximately $181,000). This will mark Salt’s second stint in the IPL, and he is expected to bolster KKR’s batting lineup.

The decision to bring in Salt was influenced by his recent T20 International performances in the Caribbean in December 2023. The explosive batsman showcased his form by scoring 331 runs in five T20Is, including two centuries. His impressive strike rate of 185.95 caught the attention of KKR management, especially considering Roy’s unexpected withdrawal.

Phil Salt, known for his aggressive batting style, holds the joint-fastest T20I century for England, achieved in just 48 balls during the fourth T20I in the West Indies. With a T20 record boasting 5308 runs from 221 innings at a strike rate of 153.41, Salt brings a wealth of experience to the KKR squad. His versatility is evident from his contributions in various T20 leagues worldwide, including the BBL, Caribbean Premier League, Pakistan Super League, and leagues in Sri Lanka, the UAE, and South Africa.

On the other hand, Jason Roy, despite his reputation as a T20 specialist, has not had a consistent run in the IPL. This marks his second withdrawal from the tournament, having previously opted out in 2020 and 2022 for personal reasons.

The replacement does not alter the overseas/Indian balance for KKR. Salt is now a contender for the opening slot alongside Rahmanullah Gurbaz, while Sherfane Rutherford provides an additional overseas batting option. The team also features seasoned players like Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, along with international bowlers Mitchell Starc, Dushmantha Chameera, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Under the captaincy of Shreyas Iyer, Kolkata Knight Riders are gearing up for their IPL 2024 opener against Sunrisers on March 23 at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The team aims to make a strong start to the tournament with the inclusion of Phil Salt in the playing XI.

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