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Starc to be KKR’s X-factor in IPL: Gambhir

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KOLKATA: He is back.

Gautam Gambhir

, the man under whose leadership the Kolkata Knight Riders had won the IPL twice in 2012 and 2014, arrived in the city to guide the team in a new avatar.
“I have always mentioned that KKR to me is not a franchise, but an emotion. I am thus happy to be back,” the KKR mentor said on Thursday evening.
The former India opener, who returned to reunite with KKR after seven long years, was aware of the fans’ expectations.

Gambhir joined the Knights in 2011 and was with the team till 2017. During the period, KKR qualified for the IPL playoffs five times and also made the final of the now-defunct Champions League T20 in 2014.

“I know there will be expectations and I hope to live up to it and make the fans happy,” he stated amidst a roaring reception at the airport terminal gate.
Gambhir, who rejoins the purple brigade after a two-year stint with the Lucknow Super Giants, felt Australian pacer

Mitchell Starc

, whom the KKR bought for a whopping sum of Rs 24.75 crore in the last auction, will be the team’s X-factor this time.
“I don’t think the price tag will be an added pressure for him. I only hope he can do for KKR what he does for Australia in international cricket,” he said.
KKR will have their first practice session at the

Eden Gardens

on Friday with Indian players while their foreign cricketers will start arriving soon. KKR will open their campaign in 2024 IPL against Sunrisers Hyderabad at home on March 23.

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