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In a significant trade, Kolkata Knight Riders have acquired India allrounder Shardul Thakur from Delhi Capitals. The trade, which ESPNcricinfo has learned was finalised on Monday, is an all-cash deal but also involves Capitals getting uncapped Mumbai allrounder Aman Khan, who Knight Riders had bought at last year's auction for INR 20 lakh (USD 26,000 approx).
Thakur, who is currently in New Zealand as part of India's ODI squad, was bought by Capitals at the 2022 IPL mega auction for INR 10.75 crore ($1.433 m approx.). With Indian bowling allrounders being a prized commodity, Thakur's former IPL team Chennai Super Kings - along with Gujarat Titans and Punjab Kings - too had attempted to buy him back, but Capitals did not retreat.
Thakur had finished the IPL 2022 season with 15 wickets in 14 matches at an economy of 9.79, among his weakest bowling numbers since he became an IPL regular in 2017. As for his batting, he finished with 120 runs and a strike rate of almost 138.
Knight Riders have been the most active franchise before the trading window closes on Tuesday, which also happens to be the deadline the IPL has set for teams to finalise the list of players they want to retain or release. The retention window is scheduled to close on Tuesday at 5pm IST.
Thakur is the third player whom Knight Riders have acquired via a trade, after getting the pair of Lockie Ferguson and Rahmanullah Gurbaz from Titans in another all-cash deal.
One reason Capitals bid hard to get him last season was also because the IPL was played solely in Mumbai, Thakur's hometown and the team he represents in domestic cricket. But with the 2023 IPL reverting to its original home-and-away format, Capitals' thinktank would have weighed Thakur's numbers at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, their own home ground in Delhi.
In the half a dozen IPL matches he has played there, Thakur has picked just three wickets in 20 overs in which he has leaked 209 runs at an economy rate of 10.95. But at Eden Gardens, Knight Riders' home base, Thakur has played just two matches with a good record: he has two wickets in seven overs while giving away only 39 runs at an economy of 5.57.