IPL team preview: Kolkata Knight Riders

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Having blown hot in 2012 and cold in 2013, some sort of balance will be required this year.

<b>Captain</b>: Gautam Gambhir<br><b>Coach</b>: Trevor Bayliss<br><b>IPL Best</b>: Winner (2012)<br><b>Cricket365 prediction:</b> Eighth

<b>Overview</b><br>Having blown hot in 2012 and cold in 2013, some sort of balance will be required this year. Consistency in Twenty20 cricket is a tough ask, as is the need to have a slew of superstar individuals act in unison. Therein lies Kolkata's challenge – and they've really bulked up their pace stocks to help the cause. Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Pat Cummins and Vinay Kumar are all new to the ranks.

<b>Key Batsman</b><br>All-rounder <b>Jacques Kallis</b> is – and always will be – the top gun. No longer tired by Test cricket, he should be uninhibited to player an even greater role – and perhaps impress the Proteas selectors ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

<b>Key Bowler</b><br>Spinner <b>Sunil Narine</b> is everyone's man to watch on the T20 circuit at the moment – and conditions primed for turn are sure to suit the West Indian recruit entirely. With a pace ace steaming in from the other end, it'll be a lot for batsmen to handle.

<b>Likely Benchwarmer</b><br>Australian <b>Chris Lynn</b> made a name for himself in the Big Bash League – and then cracked the nod for the national team – but hasn't completed the meteoric rise many anticipated. The IPL is not likely to facilitate this either.

<b>They Said:</b> "Our objective right now with Mike Horn is that he helps out with the integration of the team, since we have a fairly new team this time. The team building exercises, team bonding and of course the motivational side of it. Though he is coming for a very short burst, partly because of his availability, we will have him for four-five days leading up to the first game." – KKR CEO <b>Venky Mysore</b>.

<b>Squad:</b> Gautam Gambhir, Manvinder Bisla, Piyush Chawla, Pat Cummins, Debabrata Das, Jacques Kallis, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Lynn, Morne Morkel, Sayan Mondal, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Veer Pratap Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russell, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib al Hasan, Robin Uthappa, Vinay Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav.

<b>Fixtures</b><br>16 April: Mumbai Indians v Kolkata Knight Riders<br>19 April: Kolkata Knight Riders v Delhi Daredevils<br>24 April: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders<br>26 April: Kolkata Knight Riders v Kings XI Punjab<br>29 April: Kolkata Knight Riders v Rajasthan Royals<br>2 May: Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders<br>5 May: Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders<br>7 May: Delhi Daredevils v Kolkata Knight Riders<br>11 May: Kings XI Punjab v Kolkata Knight Riders<br>14 May: Kolkata Knight Riders v Mumbai Indians<br>18 May: Sunrisers Hyderabad v Kolkata Knight Riders<br>20 May: Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings<br>22 May: Kolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers Bangalore<br>24 May: Kolkata Knight Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad

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