It’s been a gloomy journey for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. After being the only team to have failed to reach the semis at least once at the end of the third season, the much fancied Kolkata outfit did a better job in IPL IV where they reached the play-offs, only to be beaten in the very first match of the knockout stage. They were fortunate enough to book a berth in the Champions League T20 but they returned empty-handed from there as well.
Come IPL V, and the Knights made yet another losing start. They were down in the dumps after the first two matches, before savoring some respect in the next 2 matches. Later, Shah Rukh Khan’s boys didn’t look too convincing in their win against the Rajasthan Royals in the last match. They seemed to have been bit by the same bug that made them lose matches even after having the opposition at their feet. This typical habit of choking in the end has cost them dearly on a few occasions. As the Kings XI Punjab take on the Knights, they will get some inspiration from the fact that they had got the better of the Knights on such an instance.
Not that the Knights haven’t had enough fire-power in their squad. In fact, theirs has been the best IPL team on paper. Garnering big names in the squad has been the norm for KKR owners but much to their disappointment, the players haven’t lived up to their reputation. T20 is a different ball game altogether and luck definitely plays a role in it. As for the Knights, the circumstances and conditions haven’t always been on their favor. The players haven’t performed when required and seldom did they rise up to the occasion in times of need. Changing the playing XI every other match has backfired and the ultimate result has been that the Knights have failed in every field despite some individual bursts of excellence here and there.
Frankly speaking, the first three seasons of the IPL have been dark nights for the Kolkata outfit. There emerged a glint of hope in the fourth season when the Knights did a better job. The black and gold jersey seemed to have marked KKR’s hopes with black, so much so that their nights were as dark as a new moon night. This sounds utterly superstitious, but you cannot blame a supporter whose dreams had been repeatedly shattered for three consecutive seasons. With a new team and a new skipper, the “changed” franchisee showed signs of revelation, but it didn’t happen as expected.
The team owner changed the logo this season and also added a new tagline to the team – New Dawn. New Knights. Yes, definitely it’s catchy but the players, once again, didn’t do justice to the tagline as they lost their first two matches quite badly. However they crushed the Vijay Mallya owned RCB to script a convincing win and rekindle hopes of a new dawn. They won their very next match against the Rajasthan Royals to keep up the spirit. The team has gone through many changes and it has been tough for the players to settle down. There is no doubt in the prowess of the players as individuals but it is the teamwork that is most required at this moment. It is too early in the season to take a call on the success or failure of the Knights. One has nothing to do but to hope for a new beginning that only spells the good for the Knights.
So here’s waiting with much anticipation and patience for the new dawn that will see the Knights ride back home victorious. Hoping that they will conquer their opposition and march back with smiles of satisfaction on their faces and the early rays of a new sun shining on their golden helmet and blessing them for the mission accomplished.