5 overseas players without whom KKR wouldn't have been the same side
The Kolkata Knight Riders had a devastating start in the Indian Premier League and were mostly found languishing at the bottom of the table in the first three seasons of the tournament.
They were barely competitive and only did well in patches failing to make a substantial impact in any of the three seasons. KKR never made it to the qualifiers in the first three seasons, and their success mostly came as party spoilers.
Things took a U-turn when the KKR management opted to alter the entire unit in the IPL auctions, 2011, including the support staffs, and quite a few new faces evolved under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir.
Since 2011, KKR seemed a different team, and from nowhere the Knights went on to win two IPL titles, and made it to the play off's in most of the seasons.
Capped Indian players like Gambhir, Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa, Umesh Yadav and Piyush Chawla played a pivotal role in KKR's success so far, but their main strength has been the foreign players.
The franchise relies a great deal on their overseas players as compared to their Indian strength, and their overseas players didn't disappoint.
Five Overseas players of KKR who made a major impact in the IPL are:
#5 Shakib Al Hasan
The much-publicised all-rounder from Bangladesh was a crucial part of the KKR squad and contributed with both bat and ball for his side. His unorthodox sweeps and his capability to go big towards the end of the innings used to give his team some cushion of runs.
Al Hasan is a terrific player of spin bowling and is capable of hitting the spinners quite a distance, especially the left-arm spinners and leg-spinners as he fancies hitting the ball with the turn towards the mid-wicket boundary.
The conditions in Kolkata were in line with his wishes as Bangladesh is just on the other side of West Bengal, and the tracks and conditions are not too different.
The track at the Eden Gardens is conducive to spin bowling and suited his style of bowling to a great extent.
His left-arm spin turned out to be very effective as he didn't give much room and bowled an immaculate line keeping the batsmen quiet.
He had the ability to bowl at any stage of the game for his franchise and bowled some fruitful overs during the field restrictions as well.
He conceded runs at an economy rate of just 7.17 which is quite remarkable in T20 terms.
This season we won't see him in purple anymore as he'll be playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2018.