Kolkata Knight Riders Season Preview: Marquee Players, Players to Watch Out and More

Kolkata Knight Riders had quite a mixed campaign last season. They played some exciting cricket at times while also producing some miserable performances. In the end, KKR failed to make it to the playoffs by the barest of the margins. The franchise finished 5th in league stages with 14 points from 14 matches.
Rohan Gulaty Author

Updated - 15 March 2021 11:33 am

KKR

With world-cup winning captain in the form of Eoin Morgan leading their side, KKR will look to clinch their 3rd IPL title in 2021. Kolkata Knight Riders are one of the most popular and successful franchises in the Indian Premier League. The Shah Rukh Khan owned team has a rich history in the tournament, having won the title in 2012 and 2014. After reaching the play-offs for three consecutive seasons from 2016 to 2018, KKR had to settle for 5th position in last two seasons. They changed their skipper mid-way through last season and will be confident going into the new season.

With a talented team, few exciting additions and a world-cup winning captain, Kolkata Knight Riders would certainly be hoping for a successful campaign in 2021.

Looking back at IPL 2020

Kolkata Knight Riders had quite a mixed campaign last season. They played some exciting cricket at times while also producing some miserable performances. In the end, KKR failed to make it to the playoffs by the barest of the margins. The franchise finished 5th in league stages with 14 points from 14 matches, equal to that of RCB and SRH who went ahead due to a superior net run rate. However, KKR were themselves to be blamed for not being able to make it to playoffs for the second consecutive year. The constant rotations in their line-ups and changing their captain mid-way didn’t help them either.

KKR ended their season with 3 defeats in last 5 matches and were rightfully ousted from the tournament. However, the franchise showed complete faith in their squad and retained most of the players. It would be interesting to see if the players can repay the trust show on them with performances on the field.

Batting Order

KKR had a low of firepower in their batting line-up last season but the resources were not utilized to full potential. They have a good group of Indian batsmen in the form of Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Karun Nair etc. To add to the list, they have overseas stars like Eoin Morgan, Tim Seifert and the ever-explosive Andre Russell. The franchise has now also added all-rounders Shakib Al Hasan and Ben Cutting to give them more depth going into the new season. If all the batters play at their best position, KKR will certainly have one of the most dangerous-looking batting line-ups in IPL 2021.

Bowling Attack

The franchise has one of the most talented bowling line-ups among all the teams. With Pat Cummins leading the attack, they have Lockie Ferguson and Sunil Narine as other overseas bowlers. Varun Chakravarthy was unarguably their best bowler last season. He will have the experienced duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Harbhajan Singh in the spin department. They have some exciting young pacers in the form of Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Sandeep Warrier. With the options mentioned, KKR boast a very strong bowling side for IPL 2021.

Leadership Group

KKR will be led by one of the most successful captains in the world presently, Eoin Morgan. The England skipper would now be aware of how the franchise operates, having captained them in the second half of last season. Morgan will have the likes of Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill and Andre Russell to support him. The latest addition of Harbhajan Singh and Shakib Al Hasan could also play a vital role in team’s leadership group. The franchise has a passionate owner in the form of Shah Rukh Khan with Venky Mysore playing a key role in cricket operations. With the charming duo of Brendon McCullum and Abhishek Nayar coaching the side, there is no dearth of new ideas in the enthusiastic leadership group of KKR.

Marquee Players

Eoin Morgan: Matches – 66 | Runs – 1272 | SR – 126.3 | Avg – 25.4

Dinesh Karthik: Matches – 196 | Runs – 3823 | SR – 129.6 | Avg – 26

Pat Cummins: Matches – 30 | Wickets – 29 | ER – 8.09 | Best – 4/34

Andre Russell: Matches – 74 | Runs – 1517 | SR – 182.3 | Wickets: 61

Players to watch out for

Shubman Gill: Matches – 41 | Runs – 939 | SR – 125.2 | Avg – 33.5

Varun Chakravarthy: Matches – 14 | Wickets – 18 | ER – 7.10 | Best – 5/20

Tim Seifert (T20Is): Matches – 35 | Runs – 695 | SR – 133.1 | Avg – 24.8

Shakib Al Hasan: Matches – 63 | Runs – 746 | SR – 126.7 | Wickets: 59

Full Kolkata Knight Riders Squad for IPL 2021

Eoin Morgan (c), Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Tim Seifert, Shakib-al-Hasan, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Karun Nair, Pawan Negi, Venkatesh Iyer, Sheldon Jackson (wk), Vaibhav Arora

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