Kolkata Knight Riders are one of the most popular franchises in the history of the Indian Premier League. Two-time IPL Champions have struggled to make it to the playoffs in the previous two editions of the league.
The franchise’s strategy for the coming season was to increase their spin bowling resources as team management signed Harbhajan Singh, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and Pawan Negi in IPL Auction held earlier this season.
The batting unit will need to be consistent if Kolkata wants to make a serious dash at the crown this season. Kolkata have won the coveted IPL trophy on two occasions (2012 and 2014 season).
England Captain Eoin Morgan, Australia pacer Pat Cummins, spinner Kuldeep Yadav, wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik, West Indies duo of Sunil Narine and Andre Russell are the premier players retained by the franchise for the upcoming season. The franchise has gone for experienced ones as Shakib Al Hasan, Karun Nair and Harbhajan Singh were signed during 2021 IPL Auction.
There is plenty of talent in the batting department for Kolkata Knight Riders. Shubham Gill has been a consistent performer for the franchise for the past couple of years.
Gill performed well for Kolkata Knight Riders in the previous edition of the league. Last season, Shubnam Gill scored 440 runs in 14 matches with a strike rate of 117.96. Bangladesh all-rounder, Shakib Al Hasan, turned out to be Kolkata’s biggest acquisitions in the 2021 IPL auction after he was picked up for a fee of 3.2 crore for this year’s competition.
Besides Shubnam Gill, Eoin Morgan has been a consistent performer for Kolkata in the previous two editions of the league. Morgan has put in excellent batting performances with the bat in the previous edition of Indian Premier League. Last year, Left-hander showed decent form and accumulated 418 runs in 14 innings at a strike rate of 138.41, with one half-century to his name.
Opener Nitish Rana is an aggressive stroke maker at the top of the innings who loves to attack the bowlers in the initial Powerplay overs. He is another premier player in the batting department and will be needed to do the bulk of scoring for Kolkata apart from Shubnam Gill and Eoin Morgan.
Kolkata have plenty of experience in the middle order as Shakib Al Hasan, Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell, have delivered match-winning performances for the franchise in the past.
Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan and Ben Cutting are three top quality all-rounders in the squad for the upcoming season of Indian Premier League.
On the bowling front, Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna and Lockie Ferguson are three premier pacers for the coming season. Harbhajan Singh, Shakib Al Hasan, Kuldeep Yadav, Pawan Negi, Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy are prominent spinners available for Kolkata for the coming season.
Players to watch out for
Australia pacer Pat Cummins will be one bowler to watch out for Kolkata in this year’s competition. He has the ability to pick up wickets with the new-ball and bowl yorkers at the back end of the innings.
After a successful season for national side, Shubnam Gill will be premier player to watch out for Kolkata in the batting department. For the past three editions, Gill has produced runs for the side on a regular basis and would be looking to continue his excellent form in this year’s competition.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Possible XI: Eoin Morgan(captain), Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik(wk), Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Shakib Al Hasan, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy