One of the most followed and loved team in the Indian Premier League, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will play their first game against Gujarat Lions on 7th April at Saurashtra Cricket Stadium, Rajkot. After finishing fourth last season, KKR will be looking to make amends in the tenth edition of the cash-rich league.
Kolkata will start the tournament as the favorites and are one of the leading contenders to win the prestigious IPL title for the third time. The boast of two IPL titles which they won in 2012 and 2014. KKR also managed to reach the playoffs in 2011 and 2016.
Despite losing the dynamic all-rounder Andre Russel due to an anti-dope code violation, KKR appears to be a strong unit who is capable of beating any side on the given day. Some of the key players for KKR in IPL 2017:-
One of the most sought after player in the T20 circuit – Chris Lynn is a known name in the shorter format of the game. Lynn didn’t have much experience to play IPL but he is not new to the sub-continent conditions. After setting the season six of Big Bash League on fire, Lynn was ruled out of the tournament with an unfortunate neck injury. However, a full-fit Lynn will have a huge role to play for KKR as a floater as he can use the long handle to maximum effect. The Queenslander has a strike rate of close to 145 and an average of 36 in 85 T20s he has played so far.
Skipper Gautam Gambhir is one of the mainstays of KKR batting line-up which has a huge array of stars in their squad. Gambhir joined Kolkata in 2011 and since then has admirably led the side to glory under his captaincy reign.
In 2016 edition, the 35-year old was in sensational form for KKR, he scored 501 runs in 15 matches at a good average of 39. He struck five half-centuries and maintained a decent strike-rate of 122 as well.
The match winner with the ball in every condition, Sunil Narine will unarguably be KKR’s biggest asset in this edition as well. With his unique skills, the Caribbean spinner is still a mystery for the best of the batters who are yet to solve the ‘Narine’ puzzle. He has played 66 matches in his IPL career so far, picked up 85 wickets at an average of 19.04. Sunil’s economy of 6.17 is another noteworthy aspect of his quality bowling.
Shakib Al Hasan
World’s number one all-rounder in Test and T20s – Shakib Al Hasan is one of the best cricketers in the world who have the skill of contributing with both bat and ball for the team’s cause. Shakib comes with a huge experience of 231 T20s under his belt, he has scored over 3600 runs in this format and has picked up 260+ wickets at a tidy economy of 6.75. If KKR wants to emulate their feat of 2012 and 2014, these four stars have to be in their best of form in the tenth season of IPL.