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IPL 2024 Auction: Kolkata Knight Riders Mentor Gautam Gambhir Calls Mitchell Starc The X-Factor Of His Team

KKR shelled out a jaw-dropping Rs 24.75 crore to get the services of Starc in the IPL auction in Dubai on Tuesday.

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Starc participated in team training sessions and bowling spells on Wednesday.
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Kolkata Knight Riders mentor Gautam Gambhir has justified his franchise bidding for Mitchell Starc for a record-breaking amount, saying that the Australia quick will be the X-factor and the leader of the bowling pack. KKR shelled out a jaw-dropping Rs 24.75 crore to get the services of Starc in the IPL auction in Dubai on Tuesday. (IPL Auction Highlights | Cricket News)

"He (Starc) is an X-factor, there is no doubt about that. Someone who can bowl with the new ball, bowl in the death overs and more importantly, someone who can lead the attack," Gambhir, who was present at the auction, said.

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"He is going to be of massive help to our two domestic bowlers because both of them are very talented and you need someone to help them out in the middle and Starc covers those bases.

"It is not only about his bowling but also about leading the attack and helping all guys around him. So, somebody will have to pay for it," the former India opener told Jio Cinema.

Gambhir, who captained KKR to two IPL titles, said for him having a strong bowling line-up takes precedence over a strong batting line-up.

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"We have a lot of depth in our bowling line-up. We always wanted to have a stronger bowling attack and now we have the options with Mujeeb (Ur Rahman), Gus (Atkinson), Sunil (Narine), Varun (Chakravarthy), and Mitchell Starc along with two Indian seamers (Harshit Rana and Suyash Sharma) and Chetan Sakariya.

"Now, we have enough options where we can play different combinations looking at the venue as well. For me, it has always been about having a strong bowling line-up compared to a very strong batting line-up," said the BJP Member of Parliament.

Asked about his coming back to the franchise he had led to titles in 2012 and 2014, Gambhir said, "For me, KKR is not a team, it is an emotion. The reason is the amount of love that I have received from the people of Kolkata for seven years that I led them and, hopefully, I led them with a lot of honesty.

"Hopefully, we can recreate the same memories that we did in 2012 and 2014. There is no guarantee that we will go out and win but there is one guarantee for sure, that we will fight till the last drop of our blood."

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