Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders

When Shah Rukh Khan bought the Kolkata Knight Riders, he would have never imagined in his wildest dreams that his side would fare so badly in the first two editions of the IPL.

They were hurt in the first edition of the mega-event by their lack of firepower in batting, with McCullum and Gayle  both not taking part in the later stages of the tournament, and were beset by controversies in the second edition: Coach John Buchanan’s multiple captaincy theory, the Fake IPL player saga that purported to expose the inner secrets of the team, and an inability to finish out close matches. They lost five matches in the last over, and mid-way through the tournament, owner Shah Rukh Khan left the team to fly back to India.

A year later, KKR have a more settled look to their side with Dav Whatmore taking over the reins of the side after Buchanan was given the boot. There are no multiple captains either, with India’s most successful captain ever Sourav Ganguly named captain for the whole tournament.

With Chris Gayle available for almost the entire tournament, it gives them the explosive package that they sorely missed in the first two editions. The team management has exchanged Moises Henriques with Owais Shah and Manoj Tiwari from Delhi.  By buying Shane Bond for a whooping price in the auction, the bowling line up looks power packed with the likes of Ishant Sharma, Charl Langeveldt, Ashoke Dinda and Ajantha Mendis in the ranks.

Legendary Wasim Akram has been appointed as the bowling mentor. It will be an ideal opportunity for youngsters such as Cheteshwar Pujara and Ganapathi Vignesh – who cut off his links with the ICL to prove his worth this season. KKR will be hoping for a much better showing this time around and with a glance at their squad that feat is not beyond them.

KEY PLAYERS:

Sourav Ganguly: One of the finest captain, Sourav Ganguly is back as the captain of the KKR. Ganguly was termed the ‘God of off-side’ for his fluent run-scoring ways in that region. Never mind six, seven or eight fielders on the off-side, he could still pierce even the narrowest gap between them and score runs fluently. A match-winner, Ganguly is capable of demolishing bowling attacks single-handedly, and his liking for spin bowlers is well documented. His part time medium pace can also prove to be dangerous for the opponents.

Chris Gayle: Devastating – the only word defines this man from the West Indies. The first player to score a century in Twenty20 Internationals, Gayle will try to score quick runs for the team as the opener. He may not turn the ball much, but puts batsmen in trouble by bowling in a good line and length with his lethal Off Spin.

BB McCullum: Another devastating batsman in the side, who recently got a international T20 century, will be hoping to carry forward the recent form. He will be keen to play another innings like the one he played in the IPL season 1 opener.

Bradley Hodge: The 35 year old Australian Veteran is a lot to play for. Being the highest run scorer for KKR last year, he surely will be aiming to achieve that feat this season too since he is in fine form for the Aussies. Not only swing his bat, he would have to roll his arms too with is milky off spin.

Ishant Sharma: Lean and tall, Ishant can bowl around the 145kmph mark consistently, and generate bounce while bowling long spells. With Akram in as the bowling coach, it can be expected of him to be more dangerous for the batsmen.

SQUAD:

Sourav Ganguly(C), Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle, Brad Hodge, Owais Shah, Manoj Tiwari, Rohan Gavaskar, Chirag Pathak, Cheteswar Pujara, Harshad Khadiwale, Wriddhiman Shah, Angelo Matthews, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Ganapati Vignesh, Ajit Agarkar, Varun Aron, Iqbal Abdulla, Eklakh Ahmed, Ashoke Dinda, Ajantha Mendis, Charl Langeveldt, Murali Karthik, Ishant Sharma

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About Adithya Ramesh

Yo people. This is Adithya. A student who loves what he does. Has passion for Cricket and is a die hard SRT fan. Loves to photograph and is a travel freak

Posted on March 8, 2010, in IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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