IPL 2024: Kolkata Knight Riders team preview, season prediction, SWOT analysis, predicted XI, squad

IPL 2024: Last season, Kolkata’s pacers faced a challenging time, securing only 30 wickets at an alarming economy rate of 10.54.

Published : Mar 17, 2024 09:27 IST - 2 MINS READ

Back in Purple: Shreyas Iyer, captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders, returns after missing the previous season due to an injury.
Back in Purple: Shreyas Iyer, captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders, returns after missing the previous season due to an injury. | Photo Credit: Sportzpics for IPL
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Back in Purple: Shreyas Iyer, captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders, returns after missing the previous season due to an injury. | Photo Credit: Sportzpics for IPL

The Kolkata Knight Riders has been in pursuit of the elusive Indian Premier League trophy for nearly a decade. In a determined effort to break the Voodoo curse, the team management strategically brought back a familiar face, Gautam Gambhir, as the mentor. Notably, Gambhir led the team to victory in both of its title-winning campaigns. The 2011 World Cup winner will collaborate with head coach Chandrakant Pandit to finalise the best 12 players, including the Impact Player, from a squad enriched with new talents.

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Highlights
  • Matches: 237
  • Won: 119
  • Titles: 2 (2012, 2014)

In the 2023 season, Kolkata’s pacers faced a challenging time, securing only 30 wickets at an alarming economy rate of 10.54. Consequently, the team opted for a significant overhaul of its pace battery, securing the services of Australia’s Mitchell Starc for a record ₹24.75 crore, making him the most expensive player in IPL history. Other key pacemen in the squad include Dushmantha Chameera from Sri Lanka, Chetan Sakariya, Vaibhav Arora, and Harshit Rana.

Match winner: Rinku Singh was the top scorer for KKR last season with 474 runs at an average of 59.25.
Match winner: Rinku Singh was the top scorer for KKR last season with 474 runs at an average of 59.25. | Photo Credit: K. R. DEEPAK
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Match winner: Rinku Singh was the top scorer for KKR last season with 474 runs at an average of 59.25. | Photo Credit: K. R. DEEPAK

Shreyas Iyer, recovering from a back injury that sidelined him in the previous edition, will resume captaincy duties. His return allows the left-handed Nitish Rana to take on a more aggressive role at No. 4, a position the 30-year-old has had the most experience of playing at. Following Rana is the explosive duo of Rinku Singh, the top scorer for KKR last season with 474 runs at an average of 59.25 and a strike rate of 149.52, and West Indies’ Andre Russell.

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Kolkata distinguished itself during the auctions by strategically securing like-for-like backup options in all departments. This approach provides the team with the flexibility to select players based on availability and prevailing playing conditions.

Prediction
The return of Gambhir and Iyer, acquisition of key players at the auction, the astute leadership of Pandit, and Rinku’s impressive form, all suggest the all-round promise could propel another title tilt.

Predicted XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Mitchell Starc, Chetan Sakariya, Varun Chakravarthy, Vaibhav Arora.

Squad: Shreyas Iyer, K.S. Bharat, Rahmanullah GUrbaz (AFG), Rinku Singh, Angkrish Raghuvanshi, Sherfane Rutherford (WI), Manish Pandey, Andre Russell (WI), Nitish Rana, Venkatesh Iyer, Anukul Roy, Ramandeep Singh, Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine (WI), Vaibhav Arora, Chetan Sakariya, Harshit Rana, Suyash Sharma, Mitchell Starc (AUS), Dushmantha Chameera (SL), Sakib Hussain, Mujeeb Ur Rahman (AFG).

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