The love story that of Gambhir and KKR is still better than twilight. Both Kolkata Knight Riders and Gautam Gambhir has seen the rise in IPL together. The two-time champions Kolkata franchise made to the last four of IPL 2016 but were eliminated in the elimination round after losing to RCB. Kolkata knight riders have always trusted their team members and never did too much of experiments with the squad. With the war cry of “korbo lorbo jeetbo”, the die hard nature of Kolkata based team is not hidden.
At the IPL auction 2017 Kolkata’s major worry was to find a replacement from their star all-rounder Andre Russel who failed to make it to IPL 2017 due to the anti-dope violation. Having a regular fixture in IPL since 2011 Morne Morkel suddenly find himself without a franchise after being omitted by the Kolkata Knight Riders. So at auction other goal was to find a replacement Speedster for Morne Morkel. Other important exclusions included that of Chinaman bowler Brad Hogg, Shaun Tait, and Colin Munro. There was total of 9 exclusions made from the last year playing the squad of KKR.
KKR doesn’t buy a lot of players at the auction but they bought players of extreme caliber from both international as well as domestic arena. Their major buy was that of Trent Boult and Chris woakes for whom KKR invested a hefty price of 9.20 cr in total. Trent Boult swing bowling causes major problems to batsman from any part of world and can be seen as the perfect replacement for Morne Morkel. Chris woakes though is not a perfect replacement for Andre Russel but can come handy at places. Other important buy for Kolkata Knight Riders were that of domestic stars Rishi Dhawan and Ishank Jaggi. Jaggi has been in tremendous form off late and was crucial in making Jharkhand reach the semis in Vijay Hazare trophy. The inclusion of Rowman Powell who is a hard hitting West Indian will fancy their chances of power hitter. Coulter-Nile can act as substitute when Woakes will out of some matches due to national duties. There were total of 9 players bought during the IPL 2017 auction by Kolkata Knight Riders.
In last season KKR won 8 of their 14 league matches and made to the elimination round due to their slightly ahead run rate than that of Mumbai Indians. Gambhir is the second-highest number of the 50+ scorer in the history of IPL and his form is always crucial in Kolkata Knight Riders making it to other rounds. With the absence of Andre Russel from the side, the responsibility of hard hitting will be on the shoulders of Yusuf Pathan and Surya Kumar Yadav. The opening pair of KKR of Uthappa and Gambhir are the most consistent pair in IPL history. Bowling of KKR is always dependent on their variety of spin attack and they sometimes play as many as 4 spin bowlers on spin friendly tracks. Shakib, Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine forms the elite group of spinners of season 10 of IPL. With the inclusion of Trent Boult and the form in which Umesh Yadav is in, the fast bowling too looks commandable. The middle order looks stable with Manish Pandey and Jaggi making it to the squad.
Unlike the last time, KKR would be aiming to make it to finals this time in IPL 2017 and make their winning count of trophies to three.
Existing Players: Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Shakib Al Hasan, Chris Lynn, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Sheldon Jackson, Ankit Singh Rajput.
Players Bought: Trent Boult (5 Cr), Chris Woakes (4.20 Cr), Rishi Dhawan (55 Lakh), Nathan Coulter-Nile (3.5 Cr), Rovman Powell (30 Lakh), R Sanjay Yadav (10 Lakh), Ishank Jaggi (10 Lakh), Darren Bravo (50 Lakh), Sayan Ghosh (10 Lakh)
Players to Watch out for:
Gautam Gambhir, Ishank Jaggi, Shakib Al Hasan, Kuldeep Yadav and Trent Boult.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Winner: 2012, 2014
- Knight Riders Sports Private Ltd
- Simon Katich
- Gautam Gambhir
- Eden Gardens