The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) is a franchise cricket team participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL). KKR represents the city of Kolkata in the tournament with its home ground at the Eden Gardens, the largest cricket stadium in India. The owners of this franchise are Shahrukh Khan, the king of Bollywood, Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta. This season, the team is sponsored by companies such as Jio, Lux Cozi, Royal Stag with The Telegraph, Dream 11 and others being their partners. After winning the cup twice in 2012 and 2014, the team is on the field yet again to fight harder than the last year and snatch away their victory from the opponents as they believe in “Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo Re”.
The team was founded in 2008 after the BCCI introduced the IPL based on the popular format of the T-20 cricket. As eight teams were brought up to represent the states, KKR was bought by Red Chillies Entertainment (55% shareholder), Juhi Chawla and the Mehta Group (45% shareholder). This team faced a lot of criticism in the first three years relating to their on-field poor performance. With prominent players such as Sourav Ganguly and Brendon McCullum leading the team in the early years, the team managed to grow somewhat stronger and under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir in 2012, the team won its first title. Snatching away yet another victory in 2014, the Knights had never the need to look back at the past and went on improving their performance.
With Dinesh Karthik still remaining the captain of the Knights, a few changes have been made to the team. At the IPL auction 2019, KKR bought eight players including Carlos Brathwaite, the West-Indies all-rounder, New Zealand’s express pacer Lockie Ferguson and England’s batsman Joe Denly. Other players include Anrich Nortje (South African RAF bowler), Nikhil Naik (WK, India), Harry Gurney (LAFM, England), Yarra Prithviraj (LAM, India), Shrikant Mundhe (RAM, India).
The players who were released this season include Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson, Tom Curran, Cameron Delport, Ishank Jaggi, Vinay Kumar, Apoorv Wankhade, Javon Searles.
With aggressive, yet mature players like Lynn, DK, Uthappa comprising the team’s batting lineup, KKR looks already quite dangerous. Shubhman Gill this year can prove to be the X- factor for the Knights with his fine display of talents in the tournament last year and also in the ICC U-19 WC which left the cricket officials and the fans equally awestruck. The last match of KKR this season with SRH was something the fans would describe as AWESOME!! Needing 53 runs in the last 3 overs, Rana’s remarkable chase at the start of the innings with Russell’s blistering, hot-shot performance and Shubman’s finishing touch at the end, KKR seems to us as a team of talents and machos who can win anything and everything. Not to forget the mystery man, Sunil Narine. So not just one, but KKR has a number of game changers this season.
Chances of Winning:
The recent 2019 squad of KKR has seen a lot of changes with many new faces coming in and the older ones being released. KKR has a destructive top order with Lynn, Uthappa, and Narine. Not only that, but they also have a fabulous middle-order with DK, Dre Russ, Brathwaite, and Gill. With so many new faces and new bowlers, there still remains the mystery spinner, Sunil Narine who isn’t just the calm, quiet mysterious man with the ball but also an explosive opener. Russell, the reliable all-rounder can churn up wickets at the most important of times while playing. KKR’s bowling arsenal with Chawla, Yadav, Gurney, and others can open an all-out-attack and yet defend low totals. Under the captaincy of DK, who proves to be a smart captain indeed from time-to-time and the brilliant squad with several hot-shots, KKR has a great chance of winning the IPL 2019. Since “KKR hai Taiyar”, let’s go Knights and show them that “Jitne Aaye Hai, Jitke Jayenge!!!”
-Written by Anupam