KKR hits the ground running as focus shifts to IPL

South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis was seen in his new avatar as the head coach, with his deputy Simon Katich, assessing the players’ fitness.

KKR Captain Gautam Gambhir, Assistant coach Simon Katich, Yusuf Pathan and Brad Hogg seen at Eden Gardens.   -  PTI

Two days after the hallowed Eden Gardens was swamped in maroon colours, it was time to turn purple as the two-time former champion Kolkata Knight Riders checked in to begin its camp ahead of IPL-9 beginning April 9.

Skipper Gautam Gambhir and Co. were seen going through their paces, keen to get back into rhythm.

South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis was seen in his new avatar as the head coach, with his deputy Simon Katich, assessing the players’ fitness.

Only two of its players — Umesh Yadav and Manish Pandey — are currently in the Indian squad while key players such as openers Robin Uthappa and Gambhir only played last in the domestic T20 for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in January.

Skipper Gambhir, along with Manish Pandey and Chris Lynn, had a lengthy net session facing the likes of Morne Morkel and John Hastings, the team’s burly Australian recruit of this season.

Yusuf Pathan seemed to have shed a few kilos and he was bowling alongside Piyush Chawla at the nets.

KKR ace spinner Sunil Narine was the first to check in when he arrived last week but only to rush back home Saturday with his father’s untimely demise.

It remains to be seen whether its key spinner will be available for KKR’s opening match against Delhi Daredevils here on April 10.

There was no West Indies duo of Andre Russell and Jason Holder who have gone back home to celebrate their World Twenty20 triumph.

Bangladesh star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and this season’s New Zealand recruit Colin Munro too are yet to join the side.