IPL 2019 team guide: Kolkata Knight Riders

Indian Premier League
Sunil Narine 2017 PA

Winners in 2012 and 2014 and with all the tools to add a third IPL title. That’ll be the Kolkata Knight Riders, then.

Coach: Jacques Kallis
Captain: Dinesh Karthik
Previous Best: Winners (2012, 2014)
IPL history
2008: 6th
2009: 8th
2010: 6th
2011: 4th
2012: Winners
2013: 7th
2014: Winners
2015: 5th
2016: 4th
2017: 3rd
2018: 3rd


VIVO IPL TEAM GUIDES

Chennai Super Kings | Mumbai Indians | Royal Challengers Bangalore Kings XI Punjab | Delhi Capitals Sunrisers Hyderabad | Rajasthan Royals


Why They’ll Win It:
The two-time winners have every chance of a third crown and first for five years.

Top order is strong and settled. Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine – inexplicably still something of an outlier as out-and-out pinch-hitter despite the obvious benefits of chucking a clean-hitting bowler in at the top of the order in T20 – are followed by Robin Uthappa, and then there’s a hefty Caribbean-flavoured middle-order featuring Andre Russell and Carlos Brathwaite, while Dinesh Karthik is an under-rated danger at the back end of an innings.

Talking of under-rated, Harry Gurney fits nicely into that category and arrives in Kolkata for his first IPL season having already won the Big Bash and PSL this winter. And bloody hell, who’s that having an IPL adventure? It’s only Joe bloomin Denly. That’s lovely.

By accident or design, the Knight Riders appear to have acquired a crop of overseas players that are pretty decent yet won’t be buggering off for the World so-called Cup which is very handy.

 

Why They Won’t:
Injuries haven’t helped the Knight Riders, with fast bowlers Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi and Anrich Nortje all ruled out.

Lynn and Narine being absolutely nailed on starters at the top of the order leaves KKR more stretched than most when it comes to balancing their overseas signings. An Indian all-rounder would be handy; it’s hard to see how they can pick both Russell and Brathwaite as selecting either Harry Gurney or Lockie Ferguson looks essential to the bowling attack.

 

Star Man – Sunil Narine:
Reinvented as an all-rounder and pinch-hitter and crucial with both bat and ball. Rashid Khan may follow Narine’s path but it still seems baffling that nobody else is really happy to burn a bowler like Narine at the top of the batting line-up to use the Powerplay. It’s a low-risk, high-reward strategy as long as he is given absolute licence to tee off.

Fundamentally, Narine scores runs fast and concedes them slow. Which makes him one of the great T20 players.

Full squad: Sunil Narine (WI), Chris Lynn (Aus), Robin Uthappa, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Dinesh Karthik (capt, wk), Nikhul Naik (wk), Andre Russell (WI), Joe Denly (Eng), Shrikant Mundhe, Carlos Brathwaite (WI), Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, KC Cariappa, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Prithvi Raj, Harry Gurney (Eng), Lockie Ferguson (NZ)

 

Fixtures

Sunday March 24
1600 IST/1030 GMT: Sunrisers Hyderabad, Eden Gardens Kolkata

Wednesday March 27
2000 IST/1430 GMT: Kings XI Punjab, Eden Gardens Kolkata

Saturday March 30
2000 IST/1430 GMT: Delhi Capitals, Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi

Friday April 5
2000 IST/1530 BST: Royal Challengers Bangalore, M Chinnaswamy Stadium Bangalore

Sunday April 7
2000 IST/1530 BST: Rajasthan Royals, Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Tuesday April 9
2000 IST/1530 BST: Chennai Super Kings, MA Chidambaram Stadium Chennai

Friday April 12
2000 IST/1530 GMT: Delhi Capitals, Eden Gardens Kolkata

Sunday April 14
1600 IST/1130 GMT: Chennai Super Kings, Eden Gardens Kolkata

Friday April 19
2000 IST/1530 GMT: Royal Challengers Bangalore, Eden Gardens Kolkata

Sunday April 21
1600 IST/1130 BST: Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium Hyderabad

Thursday April 25
2000 IST/1530 GMT: Rajasthan Royals, Eden Gardens Kolkata

Sunday April 28
2000 IST/1530 GMT: Mumbai Indians, Eden Gardens Kolkata

Friday May 3
2000 IST/1530 BST: Kings XI Punjab, IS Bindra Stadium Mohali

Sunday May 5
2000 IST/1530 BST: Mumbai Indians, Wankhede Stadium Mumbai


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