When Manoj Tiwary hit the winning runs at the Chepauk in IPL V final,it brought an end to the glory search by the Kkr.It was a bright
spot in the history of a team which generated more news for its star owners and controversies rather than the on field action.When Kkr
didnot bid for Sourav Ganguly in the IPL-4 auctions,it generated huge outrage,more so in Kolkata,but what followed later in the
season,proved to be a game-changer in the way KKR’s cricket moved forward.
The new management broke the bank for the two marque names,Gautam Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan.The plan was to build a team around Gambhir,shed the old baggage and play an aggressive brand of cricket in a manner which was synonymous with the Kolkatans.A place in the playoffs,first in 4 years was a fitting reward for the the franchise.What followed next year was more joyous for the fans who
stood by their team when success eluded them.Gambhir played the inspirational skipper’s role.marshalling his troops spectacularly and
leading the way by playing the match winning knocks.Sunil Narine’s mystery proved to be a nightmare for opposition batsmen.Kkr formed a great mix of overseas players in Kallis,Shakib,Morgan,McCullum who kept contributing consistently.Also they were helped by the domestic players as Bhatia,Shukla,Tiwary and Bisla played some of their best cricket.Especially,Bhatia who was the go-to man for Gambhir in crunch situations.What followed next year was a disaster.The Knights failed to live upto the Champions tag as their campaign ended miserably with a mid-table finish.The whole team failed to click as a unit and missed out on a playoffs spot to Sunrisers.
This season KKR retained two of their most sought after players in Gambhir and Narine. In the auctions it again went out for proven
performers and buyed back Yusuf,Kallis,Shakib,Ten Doeschate from the pool. Morne Morkel,Robin Uthappa,Piyush Chawla and Umesh Yadav were the other notable additions in the Kkr ranks. The batting this time will again revolve around their captain Gambhir
with Kallis,Shakib,Manish Pandey and Pathan making up the order.In Uthappa,KKR may well have bought a trump card considering his previous exploits in the IPL and also his current rich vein of form.How they use Kallis in the order remains to be seen as that was a debated topic last season and its well know that success at the top for Kallis makes KKR a more formidable side.
Coming to bowling which has been the franchise’s strength in the past,it will again be led by Narine.But Gambhir needs to find a bowler
on whom he could in case Narine has an off day,in that scenario,KKR will miss the services of Bhatia,their unsung hero of the last three
It was surprising when KKR did not buy Shami and opted for Chawla for the same price.It will be a huge responsibility to shoulder
for the leggie and also a big opportunity to stake a claim for a national call up . But in the pace bowling department KKR will be
delighted to have strengthened it with Morkel,Russell,Yadav and Vinay Kumar,all of whom have the experience and skill to adapt to different conditions,with Wasim Akram joining as the bowling coach the attack seems a perfect mix. Interestingly, KKR have snapped up the U-19 star Kuldeep Yadav who gives the attack a new dimension with his left arm chinaman.
Round Up : Once again the franchise has roped in the big names but still they need to fill in the vacant spots in order to reclaim the
crown.Also,KKR lack a world class wicketkeeper batsman.With a formidable spin attack and a decent batting line up,expect them to be in playoffs.