Kolkata Knight Riders: Season Preview

As done with the last several posts, watch my podcast for my ideas on the squad as it came fresh out of the auction:

Following their purchases in the 2014 IPL Auction, the Kolkata Knight Riders received much criticism from people for picking a squad of either out-of-form or rejected players. While that is true, one cannot forget that the players in their lineup are match-winners, and have made a great impact in the IPL. For instance, Robin Uthappa has not played an international match since 2012, but we all know what he has done on the IPL platform in the past. Vinay Kumar had what was probably the worst night of his life during the final India Australia ODI in Bangalore, where he went for 102 in 9 overs, but his death bowling for RCB is still something to remember. Piyush Chawla also came into their ranks, and while he is not the most reliable spinner in the world, he may be a wicket taking partner for Sunil Narine. Nonetheless, this IPL will need to be a wake-up call for Yusuf Pathan, who despite being brought back by KKR, received only Rs. 3.25 crores (roughly $540,000), which is a 75% paycut from his original $2.1 million in 2011. On paper, the KKR squad looks fairly strong, with other quality overseas recruits like Jacques Kallis, Shakib Al Hasan, Morne Morkel, and Chris Lynn. Although the rustiness of their armor might turn on them, KKR still have the potential to pull off something spectacular.

Author’s Choice XI (Based on recent times):

Manish Pandey

Jacques Kallis

Gautam Gambhir (c)

Robin Uthappa (wk)

Shakib Al Hasan

Ryan Ten Doeschate

Yusuf Pathan

Vinay Kumar

Piyush Chawla

Sunil Narine

Umesh Yadav