Kolkata Knight Riders – IPL 2021 Preview
Author: Manish Khorgade
Being IPL’s third successful team with two titles, KKR has struggled a lot due to the inconsistency in the forms of their players. Presenting the city of joy, Kolkata added a brand value to the IPL with their famous franchise owner Shah Rukh Khan. KKR has worth USD 58.4 million. In 13 seasons of IPL, they have never been bookie’s favourite yet ended up winning the title twice. The best betting site for IPL 10Cric has put KKR as the fifth favourite with a return of 7.0 for a dollar. It will be interesting to see if they qualify for the play-off this season or choke up again in the lower half of the points table.
History of Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL
Owned by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, KKR was a part of the first-ever IPL match played. In fact, it was their batsman Brendon McCullum who brought all the glory to the biggest brand of the world. He scored 158 runs in 73 balls with 10 fours and 13 sixes. They went on to beat RCB by 140 runs. After few forgetful seasons, KKR finally won their 1st IPL title under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir. They achieved the same feat in 2014 by beating Kings XI Punjab by 3 wickets.
Since 2015, they qualified thrice for the play-offs and missed thrice by standing in the 5th position every time. KKR is famous for the explosive style of batting. Various players including Sourav Ganguly, Chris Gayle, Shoaib Akhtar, Manish Pandey, and Suryakumar Yadav have graced the KKR roaster.
KKR IPL 2021 Auction
Kolkata Knight Riders released 6 players before entering the auction including 3 overseas and 3 uncapped players. They had the lowest purse of INR 10.75 crore (USD 1.49 million) among the franchises. Looking for an all-rounder to solve the problems of the middle-order they did try to get on board Glenn Maxwell. They succeeded with ex-KKR player Shakib Al Hasan. He cost them INR 3.2 crore (USD 440K). Shakib who will be making his comeback after a ban for not reporting the match-fixing approach has played 63 IPL matches with 746 runs at a strike rate of 126.65 and 59 wickets at an economy of 7.46.
They also signed four uncapped players - Vaibhav Arora, Sheldon Jackson, Pawan Negi, Venkatesh Iyer at their base prices. In the later stage of the Auction, they signed Karun Nair for INR 50lakhs. Nair Who was a part of the Punjab Kings last season comes with an experience of 73 IPL matches with 1480 runs at a strike rate of 128.36.
KKR also welcomed Indian Legend Harbhajan Singh and Australian all-rounder, Ben Cutting, for their respective base prices of INR 2 crore (USD 275k) and INR 75 lakhs (USD 103k). The four-time IPL winner Harbhajan Singh has played 160 IPL matches so far with 150 wickets at an economy of 7.05 and 829 runs at a strike rate of 138.16. His experience will be crucial for KKR to get their hands on their third IPL title.
Players out: Chris Green, Harry Gurney, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Siddhesh Lad, Tom Banton
Players in: Shakib Al Hasan, Ben Cutting, Harbhajan Singh, Karun Nair, Vaibhav Arora, Sheldon Jackson, Pawan Negi, Venkatesh Iyer
Key Players for Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL 2021
Shubman Gill: Indian future Shubman Gill opened innings for KKR throughout the last season. He was the leading scorer for KKR with 440 runs. The KKR management will be working on Gill to improve his strike rate to convert his slow start into a big one.
Pat Cummins: The most expensive buy of IPL 2020 (INR 15.50 crore, USD 2.13 million) had a slow start for KKR last season. But he proved his world-number one status by picking up 12 wickets at an economy of 8.09. He also played a crucial role with the bat by scoring 146 runs at a strike rate of 128.07.
Varun Chakravarthy: Well known for his stats in the local tournaments, Chakravarthy played 13 games for KKR last season. The mystery spinner bamboozled 18 opponents at an economy of 6.84. His control over the ball and variations up his sleeve will be a key to KKR’s success this season.
Andre Russell: West Indian explosive all-rounder has been in the KKR team for a while. His unpredicted performances have won them many matches. He has 74 IPL matches in his pocket with 1517 runs at a strike rate of whopping 182.33 and 61 wickets at an economy of 8.96. If he performs consistently, KKR will undoubtedly have the most destructive middle-order in the IPL.
Kolkata Knight Riders Squad: Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Tim Seifert. (Yet to announce Captain)
Kolkata Knight Riders Odds to Win IPL 2021
10Cric who provide the best cricket betting odds have placed Kolkata Knight Riders at 7.0 for IPL 2021. They are the fifth favourite in the IPL Betting circle. The chances of KKR qualifying for playoffs are very high. With the three ICC World T20 winners in the squad (Morgan, Russell & Karthik) KKR has the ability to stun the cricket world this season.
KKR Expectations for IPL 2021
1. Mumbai Indians: KKR has the worst record against MI. They have won only 6 times in the 27 outings against MI. This year also the picture is looking the same. KKR is expected to lose both games against the defending champions.
2. Punjab Kings: Punjab Kings is KKR’s favourite opponents. They have a winning percentage of 66.66 against the Punjab franchise. This year though the odds are different. With the strength in the batting line-up of Punjab Kings, KKR will most probably share a game against them.
3. Chennai Super Kings: KKR has a bad reputation for losing against the big teams. MS Dhoni’s CSK has let KKR win only 9 games and has successfully beaten them 15 times. This year KKR will be playing against them in a neutral venue which makes KKR an equal opportunist to win the two IPL matches against CSK. Though the odds are with Chennai, KKR might pull-up both the games in their favour.
Make sure to check our free IPL betting tips & predictions on a daily basis to place smarter bets.
KKR cannot be taken easily as they have the mixture to win their third IPL title. Yet to make a captain’s announcement, KKR has shown that they are still searching for their leader to take the team to the Narendra Modi Stadium for the finals.
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