IPL 2014: Kolkata Knight Riders - Team Preview

IPL 2014: Kolkata Knight Riders - Team Preview

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 06, 2014, 17:23
  
IPL 2014: Kolkata Knight Riders - Team Preview
Suyash Srivastava

They defeated the mighty Chennai Super Kings to win their maiden IPL title in 2012, which raised the level of expectations from the Gautam Gambhir-led side. But they failed terribly last year, where they won just six out of sixteen matches and were ranked third from the bottom.

It isn`t that the squad lacked quality players. They had a formidable skipper in Gautam Gambhir, a maverick spinner in Sunil Narine, a legendary all-rounder in Jacques Kallis, and yet they failed to live up to the expectations.

Even this year, they have a very balanced outfit.

Ahead of the IPL 7 auctions, the team management probably focused on buying pacers for the team, with speculations being rife that the seventh edition could be shifted to South Africa. Even though they managed to get some world class speedsters, their plan could now backfire, as IPL`s first phase will be held in the UAE.

Kolkata have always lacked the killer instinct. Under pressure situations, they have hardly had players, who were up for the challenge with a counter-attack. The team management has once again shown faith in Yusuf Pathan – who played some blistering knocks in the initial phases of the tournament, and if he gets going this IPL, KKR could possibly aim at their second title.

Gautam Gambhir is one player who has been very consistent for the team. Ever since he took over the captaincy from Sourav Ganguly, he has been a force to reckon with. The southpaw has been discarded by the Indian selectors for quite some time, despite him doing well in the domestic season. Considering India’s upcoming tours to England and Australia, Gambhir would once again want to continue his good run in the IPL, to prove a point that he still has in him to play at the international level.

Key signings: Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Chris Lynn, Morne Morkel, Pat Cummins, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar.

Strength: If you look at the KKR squad for IPL 7, you might think they haven`t made much changes, until you reach the list of the pacers. KKR spent heavily to buy pace bowlers and succeeded in getting Morkel, Pat Cummins, Umesh Yadav, VRV Singh and Vinay Kumar.

Weakness: Even though Kolkata once again showed immense faith in Jacques Kallis, the South African legend is probably not the right player for the shortest format of the game now, as he takes his time initially to score runs and if he fails, the team comes under pressure considering the balls he consumes. They also rely hugely on Gambhir, and in case if he is dismissed early, the chances of KKR fighting back are rare.

Squad:

Indian players: Gautam Gambhir, Manvinder Bisla, Piyush Chawla, Debabrata Das, Kuldeep Yadav, Sayan Mondal, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Veer Pratap Singh, Robin Uthappa, Vinay Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav

Overseas players: Jacques Kallis, Pat Cummins, Chris Lynn, Morne Morkel, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Ryan Ten Doeschate

Probable playing eleven: Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Jacques Kallis, Shakib Al Hasan, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russel, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Vinay Kumar

First Published: Tuesday, May 06, 2014, 17:23


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Team P W L RR Points
Kings XI Punjab 14 11 3 0.968 22
Kolkata Knight Riders 14 9 5 0.418 18
Chennai Super Kings 14 9 5 0.385 18
Mumbai Indians 14 7 7 0.095 14
Rajasthan Royals 14 7 7 0.06 14
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