KKR also known as the Kolkata Knight Riders is an IPL franchise which represents the heart and soul of Kolkata. KKR have played a key part to the glitz and glamour the IPL has brought to modern day cricket. With their home ground being Eden Garden a stadium with a seat capacity of 68,000, making it the largest stadium in India and second largest cricket ground in the world, every match played is a spectacle to behold. With KKR having arguably the best home stadium there is always a pressure for the team to perform when playing at home. KKR have been a cricket franchise in the IPL since its inauguration in 2008. The loud and excited crowds that poured through to Eden Gardens made every match the KKR team played in a whole event in itself. Which is why it could be argued the extra entertainment factor the IPL brought to the cricketing world, was down to impressive atmospheres on display such as the ones at Eden Gardens. KKR began the IPL with a blockbuster team which featured many superstar players such as Sourav Ganguly, Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle, Ricky Pointing and David Hussey.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Kolkata Knight Riders initially ran the slogan “All the King’s Men” for the first four seasons they participated in the IPL. However, upon the start of the 5th edition of the IPL they replaced this slogan with “New Dawn, New Knights”. This change in slogan wasn’t just for the fun of it, as the Kolkata Knight Riders owners were not impressed with the team’s performances in the first four seasons of the IPL. Having only reached the play-offs once in four years and being immediately eliminated in the year they reached the play-offs, the KKR owners felt the team needed a refresh and so did the branding. The shift in how the team was shaped began in 2011, which was incidentally the year they reached the play-offs for the first time as well. Their icon player, Sourav Ganguly was not retained in 2011, which sparked controversy amongst KKR fans and cricket fans across India and the world. Despite this, Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t change their decision and made a purchase of $2.4million for Gautam Gambhir who was also appointed as captain for the KKR team. In the same auction KKR also purchased Indian batsmen Yusuf Pathan for $2.1million. The 2011 auction also saw the Kolkata Knight Riders bring in many overseas superstars such as Brett Lee, Jacques Kallis, Eoin Morgan and more join a newly revamped squad for KKR. Unfortunately, this new squad only managed to reach the play-offs, but this was progress for KKR in the right direction. It was in 2012 were the Kolkata Knight Riders made important player purchases by acquiring former KKR Brendon McCullum and spin bowler Sunil Narine, who both played important roles in guiding the Kolkata Knight Riders to their first IPL title in 2012. It wasn’t till 2014 where the Kolkata Knight Riders repeated their 2012 season and went on to when the IPL for a second time, making KKR a franchise to be recognised.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS ROSTER
Kolkata Knight Riders roster for the upcoming IPL 2020 season is looking to be an interesting one. Kolkata Knight Riders have yet to reach a final since 2014, having reached the playoffs just three times in the last five seasons. With star player Brednon McCullum annociuing his retirement from all formats of cricket, he has taken over the role as head coach for the Kolkata Knight Riders, relieving Jacques Kallis of his duties. After failing to reach the playoffs in their 2019 season, there is a great amount of speculation as to where KKR need to improve and which players will be released and who will be brought in. Overshadowing the KKR players performances was an overwhelming amount of rumours that team was not gelling together on and off the pitch amid a lambasting from Andre Russell, one of the better performing players for KKR over the years, saying the team has been making bad decisions. Also, pin-pointing their poor bowling and fielding performances to be the root of their downfall, as the team lost 6 games on the trot. With fast bowler Lockie Ferguson putting in below par performances, it would not be of a surprise if he was not retained for the upcoming 2020 season. In terms of the Kolkata Knight Riders roster, you can expect they will look to revamp their bowling attack, as well as bolstering their top order.
Kolkata Knight Riders Current Squad
The KKR team 2019 had a mixed bag of performances throughout the season, and their lack of continuity resulted in them not reaching the play-offs. With many franchises expecting to be affected by players leaving for pre-world cup preparations, the KKR team 2019 was actually the one team that was affected the least, with only English batsmen Joe Denly leaving early. KKR started the 2019 IPL season with an excellent start winning their four out of their first five matches. However, they went on to have one of their worst losing streaks in KKR history, losing the next 6 matches as they were unable to defend the target they had set each time. They were handed a lifeline when they defeated the Mumbai Indians, but this was not enough as they missed the play-offs on net run rate to Sunrisers Hyderabad. Their star player Andre Russell, who made a string of superb performances and was the fifth highest run scorer of the tournament. Russell felt let down by the team’s poor bowling performances and lack of team cohesion in the dressing room.
KKR TEAM 2018
The KKR team 2018 was moulded together thanks to a massive spending spree from the owners in the IPL auction. Having retained key individual players such as Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, the KKR team 2018 also the addition of Australian big hitter Chris Lynn for Rs 9.6 crores. The KKR team 2018 had a mixed bag of performances I. the group stages but three wins from their last three games saw them secure a playoff spot. The KKR team secured their first win of the playoffs against the Rajasthan Royals comfortably defeating them by 25 runs. Looking to reach the first IPL final since 2014, KKR took on the Sunrisers Hyderabad. An excellent performance from the Sunrisers’ Rashid Khan proved to be the difference between the two sides, as the KKR team’s big hitters, Yusuf Pathan and Carlos Brathwaite, were unable to propel their team to victory during the middle overs of the match leading KKR to lose by 14 runs.
KKR TEAM 2017
The KKR team 2017 saw many players from the previous season released and very few retained. The likes of Morne Morkel, Brad Hogg and Jason Holder were all releases prior to the 2017 auctions. With English all-rounder Chris Woakes, New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult, Australian Nathan Coulter-Nile and Darren Bravo all brought in. Unfortunately for the KKR team 2017, they would be without talisman Andre Russell due to a doping violation where he failed to file his whereabouts three times in 2015 leading him to be suspended for one-year. Despite the loss of Russel, KKR made their way through the group stages and qualified for the players after finishing in fourth in the table. Their first playoff match was hampered with rain in Bengaluru against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, this eventually was of good fortune to the KKR team as they won comfortably on the Duck Worth Lewis Method and were one match closer to the 2017 final. However, after a lacklustre batting performance in their next match against the Mumbai Indians, KKR were demolished as they lost by 6 wickets. Their standout performers of the season would be captain Gautum Gambhir, who racked up 498 runs. With fast bowler Umesh Yadav collecting 17 wickets.
The KKR owner has been responsible for the large coverage and popularity of the Kolkata Knight Riders, thanks to their celebrity statuses. The KKR owners consist of a 55% share for Bollywood legend Shah Rukh Khan through his company Red Chillies Entertainment. With the other 45% of the franchise owned by Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta through their company, Mehta Group. All of the owners have been a part of the KKR setup since 2008 as they partnered up to purchase the franchise for$75.09million/₹2.98 billion. The superstar status brought to the franchise by both Bollywood celebrities cultivated a large reach of the KKR brand, this helped attract many players as well as sponsors.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS BEST PLAYERS
Kolkata Knight Riders best players have performed for them year in and year out, even if the team was not performing to its best, there has been key individuals who have always given it their all.
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