The Kolkata-based franchise were quite ably led by Gautam Gambhir in the past 5 editions of the IPL. The southpaw, as history suggests, reaped immense dividends with KKR as they won a couple of titles in 2012 and 2014.
Gambhir has led the Kolkata Knight Riders in 121 matches since 2011 and has won 69 out of them. Although KKR are one of the strongest contenders on paper following the recently concluded auction, the lack of a leadership option is what makes the setup look a bit tricky.
Let’s have a look at the probable captains from the current team combination who can lead the team forward in the upcoming edition of IPL:
Robin Uthappa might not have captained a side before both in the domestic and international circuit, but his long association with the franchise could put the spotlight on him for the particular role. Having played 58 matches for KKR since 2014, the right-hander has scored 1,806 runs. Furthermore, the top order batsman also led India A against Australia A in 2014.
Besides, Uthappa opened up about his availability to lead the side in the upcoming tournament. “Of course, I am. I’ll be honoured if the opportunity came along but it’s for the think-tank to decide — whatever role they want me to take, I’ll give my 110 percent. Adding value to my team as a cricketer is crucial to my game,” he said in an interview to Sportstar.
Looking forward to the tournament, Gambhir’s absence may well give Uthappa a chance to prove his point as a captain.
Captaincy Record: Matches – 8, Won – 5, Lost – 2, Tied – 1
Having been a seasoned campaigner in the domestic T20 cricket, Dinesh Karthik’s experience could pay dividends for the Kolkata Knight Riders this season. The Indian wicket-keeper batsman faired pretty well for the Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions respectively over the years. Moreover, he also tried his hands on the captaincy for the Delhi franchise in 2010.
Apart from his stints in the shorter version of the game, Karthik has also been the captain of Tamil Nadu Ranji Team since 2009-10. The KKR team owners might well use his experience this season to fill in Gambhir’s shoes.
Captaincy Record: Matches – 18, Won – 13, Lost – 5, Tied – 0
Chris Lynn was the costliest Australian player in the IPL auction this year, having been traded by the KKR for a whopping 9.6 Crore. His exploits in the Big Bash League, despite an injury-stricken stint, speak volumes about his propensity to clear the ground firmly.
While captaining Brisbane Heat side in 8 T20s, Lynn has scored a staggering 378 runs at an average of over 50 including one century and three half-centuries. Although his injury-prone structure could dent the team setup, the right-hander is likely to be acknowledged for the captaincy role, also considering the presence of his teammates Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson in the team.
“I’d love to, I’d jump at the opportunity,” the Lynn was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Monday.
Captaincy Record: Matches – 8, Won – 3, Lost – 5, Tied – 0