Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) is a team that defines the saying “Hard work and determination are keys to success”. Having faced a poor start in the first three years of their journey in the Indian Premier League (IPL), KKR started to catch momentum from the fourth season where they qualified for the Play-offs for the very first time.
Since then, they have always been one of the most lethal sides to face in the league. Tasting the sweet smell of victory twice (in 2012 and 2014), the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned team seems all set to rock this IPL season, with their core team intact.
The year 2018 proved to be a good one for the Knights as they finished at the third spot in the league standings. Winning the first qualifier against Rajasthan Royal, the team was knocked out by Sunrisers Hyderabad in a close tie.
Retaining a wholesome of 14 players before this year's auction, KKR made it very clear that they are going to have the same core which helped them reach the qualifiers last time.
Spending a total of Rs 9.15 crore in the auction this time, they managed to catch hold of eight players, including the mighty Carlos Braithwaite for Rs 5 crore.
With Braithwaite, they also bought the English duo of Joe Denly (opener) and Harry Gurney (fast bowler) in their squad.
Anrich Nortje could have been another star performer for KKR if he wouldn't have been ruled out due to a shoulder injury right before the season. With him, the team has already lost the young pace duo of Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi to injury, and have called up Sandeep Warrier and KC Cariappa as their replacements.
With the release of Mitchell Stark and Mitchell Johnson, and their current fast bowlers suffering from injuries, all eyes will be on the bowling department. Finding the right combination of spin and pace along with all-rounders like Braithwaite and Russell, this season will be a true test of KKR's temperament and consistency.
Despite all the trouble before the beginning of the season itself, it will be interesting to see how KKR makes a comeback to give a tough competition to the rest of the sides.
Squad: Dinesh Karthik (wk/c), Robin Uthappa(wk), Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier, KC Cariappa, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Carlos Brathwaite, Lockie Ferguson, Nikhil Naik(wk), Harry Gurney, Yarra Prithviraj, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe
Coach: Jacques Kallis