Kolkata Knight Riders Team Preview: IPL 2023

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Preview

The 16th Season of the Indian Premier League is around the corner and fans cannot curb their excitement. You can catch our IPL 2023 Overview here. In this article, we will talk about the Kolkata Knight Riders in detail.

The 3rd most successful side in the competition’s history might not seem one of the major favorites to go all the way ahead of this season, but with the kind of talent at their disposal they’ve got all the ingredients to prove everyone wrong. Their seasoned pros leading the charge-coupled with few individual brilliances at times, and they could well make it into the Top 4

Last Season Standings: With six wins and eight losses, they finished seventh on the points tally.

Schedule of KKR Matches

Match 2: April 1, Saturday: Punjab Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders at Mohali at 3:30 PM

Match 9: April 6, Thursday: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore at Kolkata at 7:30 PM

Match 13: April 9, Sunday: Gujarat Titans vs Kolkata Knight Riders at Ahmedabad at 3:30 PM

Match 19: April 14, Friday: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad at Kolkata at 7:30 PM

Match 22: April 16, Sunday: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders at Mumbai at 3:30 PM

Match 28: April 20, Thursday: Delhi Capitals vs Kolkata Knight Riders at Delhi at 7:30 PM

Match 33: April 23, Sunday: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings at Kolkata at 7:30 PM

Match 36: April 26, Wednesday: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders at Bengaluru at 7:30 PM

Match 39: April 29, Saturday: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Gujarat Titans at Kolkata at 3:30 PM

Match 47: May 4, Thursday: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kolkata Knight Riders at Hyderabad at 7:30 PM

Match 53: May 8, Monday: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Punjab Kings at Kolkata at 7:30 PM

Match 56: May 11, Thursday: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals at Kolkata at 7:30 PM

Match 61: May 14, Sunday: Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders at Chennai at 7:30 PM

Match 68: May 20, Saturday: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Lucknow Super Giants at Kolkata at 7:30 PM

You can check the Overall IPL Schedule here.

SQUAD

BATTERS: Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana (c), Rinku Singh, Mandeep Singh

ALL-ROUNDERS: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Shakib Al Hasan, David Wiese, Anukul Roy

BOWLERS: Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakravarthy, Kulwant Khejroliya, Suyash Sharma, Vaibhav Arora

WKs: Liton Das, Narayan Jagadeesan, Rahmanullah Gurbaz

Changes to the Roster from last season

Major INs: 

Shardul Thakur, Lockie Ferguson, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, N. Jagadeesan, Vaibhav Arora, David Wiese, Shakib Al Hasan

Major OUTs:

Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Aman Khan, Aaron Finch, Ajinkya Rahane

Squad News/Changes:

  • Shreyas Iyer’s participation in the early part of the season is uncertain due to an ongoing injury.
  • Lockie Ferguson, the spearhead of the pace attack, got injured ahead of the SL ODIs and is certain to miss the first game of the season.
  • The tournament participation of Litton Das and Shakib Al Hasan has been put on hold as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has not issued them a No Objection Certificate (NOC).

Key Players: 

Andre Russell – All Rounder (Right Hand Bat + Right Arm Fast)

KKR have largely relied on Dre Russ to help them achieve success in the last few years. Following several unsatisfactory campaigns, he managed to perform exceptionally well last season and his tremendous all-round performance put him in contention for the Most Valuable Player award. IPL 2022: Inns- 12 | Runs- 335 | Avg- 37 | SR- 174 | Wkts- 17 | Avg- 16 | SR- 10

The Knight Riders will be depending on their leader to make up for the absences of crucial players in the batting and bowling line-up. They need to have a great performance from him if they wish to succeed.

Nitish Rana – Batsman (Left Hand Bat)

As time goes by, Rana is gradually establishing himself as a key figure in KKR’s middle order and has been bestowed with the captaincy role in Shreyas’ absence. KKR has a remarkable history of reaching the IPL finals with left-handed batsmen as their captains. This could bode well for them in the upcoming tournament too. He had a great run with Delhi in the SMAT last season, playing 8 innings and scoring 317 runs with an average of 45 and a strike rate of 139. He also starred with the ball throughout the season, picking up 11 wickets at an average of 14.5.

IPL 2022: Inns- 14 | Runs- 361 | Avg- 28 | SR- 134

Sunil Narine – All Rounder (Left Hand Bat + Right Arm Off Spin)

Narine would be thrilled to be back at Eden Gardens after three seasons, as his record at the home ground is second to none. Innings – 45 | Wickets – 57 | Average – 19 | Strike Rate – 18.

He has also amassed 339 runs at an impressive strike rate of 167 at the venue.

Although he didn’t have the best season in terms of wickets last year, having only taken 9 wickets with an average of 34.7, his extremely economical bowling still had a massive impact on the competition. He finished with the lowest economy rate in the league at 5.6.

Shardul Thakur – All Rounder (Right Hand Bat + Right Arm Medium Pace)

Thakur, alongside Lockie Ferguson, was by far the best acquisition KKR made ahead of the season. They traded for him in an all-cash deal with DC, securing his services for 10.75 crores. KKR will be relying on him to replace Cummins’ all-around abilities. His consistent wicket-taking skills towards the end of the innings could help them address their issues in the death overs.

Inns- 14 | Wkts- 15 | Avg- 31 | SR- 19 | Runs- 120 | SR- 138

One to Watch Out for:

Rinku Singh – Batsman (Left Hand Bat)

During the previous season, Rinku joined the team mid-way and immediately made an impact with his amazing performance. He reserved his best till the last game and produced a memorable inning, striking 40 runs off just 15 deliveries in KKR’s final match of the season. Rinku has been with the franchise for six seasons but this is his first season where he is guaranteed to start regularly. With Shreyas out of the picture, it’s now up to him to secure the No. 4 spot on his own. He also was KKR’s best batter across all their intra-squad practice games earlier this week

IPL 2022: Inns- 7 | Runs- 174 | Avg- 35 | SR- 149

SMAT 2023: Inns- 4 | Runs- 139 | Avg- 46 | SR- 132

What do you think then are KKR’s chances for this IPL Season?