Kolkata, after starting poorly in the IPL, rose to form with two wins in 2012 and 2014. They are always a playoff contender since then and will go all out to maintain that status. Skipper Gambhir will look to lead the side to victory again having emulated that feat twice.
The Kolkata Knight Riders went into the IPL Auction with the shocker of ban for Andre Russell due to a doping violation. They successfully bid for Chris Woakes to coverA�for Russell. KKR have also made some good Indian buys with youngsters Ishan Jaggi and Rishi Dhawan to add to their bench strength.
Bowling is the major strength of the Kolkata side. With the likes of Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav in the spin department, Gambhir will be spoiled for options. Trent Boult was snapped up for 5 crores in the auction showing their affinity for improving the bowling. Nathan Coulter-Nile, the Australian, adds further firepower to the KKR bowling attack.
With Andre Russell banned, the mantle of power hitting falls on the shoulders of Yusuf Pathan and the likes of Woakes or Lynn. Gautam Gambhir’s form is also a matter of concern for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Existing Players: Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Shakib Al Hasan, Chris Lynn, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Sheldon Jackson, Ankit Singh Rajput
Players Bought: Trent Boult (5 Cr), Chris Woakes (4.20 Cr), Rishi Dhawan (55 Lakh), Nathan Coulter-Nile (3.5 Cr), Rovman Powell (30 Lakh), R Sanjay Yadav (10 Lakh), Ishank Jaggi (10 Lakh), Darren Bravo (50 Lakh), Sayan Ghosh (10 Lakh)
Key Players: Sunil Narine, Chirs Woakes, Gautam Gambhir
Our Prediction: Playoff Spot Finish
List of matches:
1. Gujarat Lions vs KKR, April 7, 2017, 20:00 IST
2. Mumbai Indians vs KKR, April 9, 2017, 20:00 IST
3. KKR vs Kings XI Punjab, April 13, 2017, 20:00 IST
4. KKR vs SRH, April 15, 2017, 16:00 IST
5. Delhi Daredevils vs KKR, April 17, 2017, 16:00 IST
6. KKR vs Gujarat Lions, April 21, 2017, 20:00 IST
7. KKR vs RCB, April 23, 2017, 20:00 IST
8. Rising Pune Supergiant vs KKR, April 26, 2017, 20:00 IST
9. KKR vs Delhi Daredevils, April 28, 2017, 16:00 IST
10. SRH vs KKR, April 30, 2017, 20:00 IST
11. KKR vs Rising Pune Supergiant, May 3, 2017, 20:00 IST
12. RCB vs KKR, May 7, 2017, 16:00 IST
13. Kings XI Punjab vs KKR, May 9, 2017, 20:00 IST
14. KKR vs Mumbai Indians, May 13, 2017, 20:00 IST