KKR - IPL 2021 in UAE Team Preview
Author: Manish Khorgade
Two times IPL champions, Shah Rukh Khan owned Kolkata Knight Riders are one of the most popular and glamourous franchises. Kolkata based franchise - KKR – is worth ₹629 crores (USD 88 million). Over the years, they had a mix of good and bad shows in the IPLs. England’s Eoin Morgan is the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders since the 2020 edition of the IPL. Under his leadership, they ended up fifth last year, though they had missed the playoffs by a whisker. The IPL betting sites this year give them a fair chance of wining the trophy, let’s see why?
History of Kolkata Knight Riders
After dismal performances in seasons 2008, 2009 and 2010, Kolkata Knight Riders, or KKR resurrected in 2011 under Gautam Gambhir’s leadership and grabbed their first IPL trophy in 2012 by defeating MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings. After a dip in 2013, they regained the title in 2014 by defeating Kings XI Punjab in the finals. However, since 2015 they have never entered the finals, even though they entered the knock-out stage thrice.
IPL 2021 Auction
Earlier this year, KKR released 6 players - 3 overseas and 3 uncapped players – just before the auctions. With a budget of just INR 10.75 crore (USD 1.49 million), the lowest among the franchises, they roped in Bangladesh’s great all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan for INR 3.2 crore (USD 440K). This is Shakib’s re-entry to KKR. In 66 IPL matches, Shakib has amassed 784 runs at a strike rate of 124.8 and claimed 61 wickets at an economy of 7.49.
KKR signed four uncapped players too - Sheldon Jackson, Pawan Negi, Vaibhav Arora and Venkatesh Iyer at their base prices. Later, KKR signed Karun Nair (INR 50 lakhs) has scored 1480 runs at a strike rate of 128.36 from 73 IPL innings.
KKR also roped in Indian Legend Harbhajan Singh and Australian all-rounder Ben Cutting, for their base prices of INR 2 crore (USD 275k) and INR 75 lakhs (USD 103k) respectively. Harbhajan has played 163 IPL matches so far with 150 wickets at an economy of 7.07. He also contributed with the bat with 833 runs from 90 innings, scored at a strike rate of 137.9. His experience and fighting spirit will be crucial for KKR to win big matches.
Players out: Pat Cummins, Harry Gurney, Chris Green, Tom Banton, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Siddhesh Lad
Players in: Tim Southee, Harbhajan Singh, Shakib Al Hasan, Ben Cutting, Vaibhav Arora, Sheldon Jackson, Pawan Negi, Venkatesh Iyer, Karun Nair
Key Players for Kolkata Knight Riders
Andre Russell: The West Indian power-hitter, all-rounder Russell has been in Kolkata Knight Riders since 2014. His performances with the bat have won them many matches. In 68 IPL innings, Russell amassed 1680 runs at a strike rate of whopping 179.3. Also, he claimed 68 scalps from 73 innings. For KKR to enter the playoffs, the destructive middle-order batsman must perform.
Shubman Gill: Though his performance in IPL 2021 so far is not so good, Gill remains the key player for KKR. Since his debut in 2018, playing as the Knight Rider. He was the leading run-scorer for KKR in IPL 2020, with 440 runs.
Varun Chakravarthy: The leg-spinner from Tamil Nadu made the heads turn last year by picking up 17 wickets at an average of 20.94, which includes 5 wickets haul against Delhi Capitals. For KKR to win crucial matches, Chakravarthy is the key bowler.
Kolkata Knight Riders Squad:
Eoin Morgan (C), Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan, Shivam Mavi, Harbhajan Singh, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Tim Seifert, Varun Chakravarthy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Vaibhav Arora, Karun Nair, Kuldeep Yadav, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rahul Tripathi, Sandeep Warrier, Rinku Singh, Sheldon Jackson, Ben Cutting, Lockie Ferguson, Pawan Negi, Venkatesh Iyer.
IPL 2021 So far
This time, the Knight Riders are in some sort of trouble before the beginning of the second half of IPL 2021 held in UAE. Australian pacer Pat Cummins will be skipping the remaining IPL season owing to national duties, and it’s going to be difficult to find a perfect replacement. Cummins spearheaded KKR’s bowling attack during the first 7 games, claiming 9 wickets, also smashed a quick half-century. With only 2 wins from the first 7 matches, it’s an uphill task ahead for the 7th ranked KKR, as they need to win at least 6 of their remaining 7 games to comfortably make it to the next round. The good news is that the skipper and the natural finisher Eoin Morgan has confirmed his availability for the second half of the IPL 2021. Also, just recently they signed Tim Southee as a replacement for Cummins. The just-in-time inclusion of Southee, one of the key bowlers for New Zealand for a long time is a great sigh of relief for the team. The right-arm pacer can prove effective in UAE conditions.
Performances of Players bought in IPL Auction 2021
There are no noteworthy performances of any domestic or international players who joined Kolkata Knight Riders in the last round of auctions. Ben Cutting hasn’t played a game in the first half of IPL 2021. Harbhajan Singh has been wicket-less so far, from the three matches he played. Also, Shakib Al Hasan hasn’t performed quite up to the expectations as yet. In 3 IPL 2021 games, he scored 38 runs, with 26 as his highest score and picked up 2 wickets.
Betting Expectations on KKR for IPL 2021’s second installment
While all the games are crucial for KKR from this stage, below are some key matches and expectations.
1. Mumbai Indians: If KKR wins this match against the fourth-ranked MI, their hopes of entering the playoffs will increase. Though, KKR hasn’t done quite well against Mumbai Indians across the IPLs. They have won only 6 matches from the 28 encounters against MI.
2. Punjab Kings: Punjab Kings are just one place above KKR in the points table, hence this match is crucial. KKR already defeated Punjab Kings in the first half of this tournament, and they will look to win once again.
3. Sunrisers Hyderabad: Sunrisers Hyderabad are at the bottom of the points table and KKR already secured a win against the Sunrisers in this series. In all likelihood, KKR will win this match and try to narrow down the gap between them and the top four.
We would advise placing your bets on KKR durig the IPL 2021 on platforms like 10CRIC India, who have a proven record among India betting fans.
Conclusion for betting on KKR during IPL 2021 in UAE
For the Kolkata Knight Riders, all remaining 7 games are like do-or-die. From Shubhman Gill, Eoin Morgan to Andre Russell they have a strong batting lineup to win big matches. While they have good spinners in Harbhajan Singh, Shakib Al Hasan and Varun Chakaravarthy, KKR needs to have a genuine pacer in the absence of Pat Cummins.
Make sure to check our list of trusted betting apps in India for bets IPL odds, and payment methods in Rupees.
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