When Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) live up to their potential, they can go the distance, as seen in 2012 and 2014. The Knight Riders, always in the mix, have only themselves to blame for not adding a third trophy to their cabinet.
KKR’s inconsistency has cost them dear despite having a set of talented players in their ranks. The Kolkata unit has also faltered in playoffs four times, indicating their lack of big-match temperament.
Last year, their fighting performance saw them progress from the round-robin stage.
However, there was no change in the script as the Dinesh Karthik-led side bowed out in the playoffs.
KKR’s core group is intact. The experience of seasoned players will be key. In case of an injury, it will be a big test of KKR’s bench strength which hasn’t got its exposure.
The Knight Riders possess a solid batting unit with each slot covered. Their unusual-yet-dangerous opening combination of Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine surprise any attack. In case of a bad start, they can rely on Robin Uthappa and Karthik.
The spin trio of Narine, Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav is the envy of any team.
While they would hope for their spinners to do the job, KKR’s pace attack appears under-cooked with no big name to lead. It will be up to all-rounder Andre Russell to deliver. Karthik will hope Lockie Ferguson, Sandeep Warrier and Prasidh Krishna grab their chances.
Dinesh Karthik (captain), Carlos Brathwaite, KC Cariappa, Piyush Chawla, Joe Denly, Lockie Ferguson, Harry Gurney, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Lynn, Shrikant Mundhe, Nikhil Naik, Sunil Narine, Anrich Nortje, Prasidh Krishna, Prithvi Raj, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Robin Uthappa, Sandeep Warrier.