Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are among the most high-profile sides in the Indian Premier League (IPL). After all, the franchise is co-owned by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and popular actress Juhi Chawla. However, the results produced by the team have not always matched the lofty expectations.
Mind you, they have won the league twice -- 2012 and 2014 -- on the back of some inspirational leadership from Gautam Gambhir. The left-hander, in fact, was the leading run-scorer when KKR won the IPL for the first time, with 590 runs. In 2014, Robin Uthappa took the lead, amassing 660 runs. On both occasions, Sunil Narine was the leading wicket-taker, picking up 24 and 21 wickets respectively.
Since the 2014 triumph, Kolkata Knight Riders have made it to the play-offs thrice, from 2016 to 2018 but have fallen agonisingly short of going all the way. KKR have some versatile players who have the X-factor to single-handedly win games, making them fantasy league favourites. We pick three who would be featuring in IPL 2020.
IPL 2020: 3 Kolkata Knight Riders players who are fantasy league favourites
#1. Andre Russell
Andre Russell has not tasted consistent success while playing for West Indies in international cricket. However, he is in a completely different league while turning out for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
In 2019, he was sensational for KKR, smashing 510 from just 249 balls at a strike rate of 204.81. He pulled off wins from seemingly impossible positions. At other times, Russell brought them to the doorstep of victory, failing only due to a lack of support from the other end.
Russell’s ability to tonk the ball at will puts him in an elite list of IPL superstars. That’s not all, the West Indian is also a handy medium pacer and an electrifying fielder. A complete T20 package, if one were to describe Russell in a nutshell.
#2. Eoin Morgan
England’s World Cup-winning ODI skipper Eoin Morgan has not had much to do in the IPL over the years. However, that is IPL’s loss more than it is Morgan’s.
The left-hander is one of the most innovative cricketers in the T20 format and possesses the ability to hit good balls out of the park. A strike rate of 91.47 in ODIs and 138.95 in T20Is is ample proof of how quickly he can score.
En route to England’s World Cup-winning campaign last year, Morgan broke the ODI record for most sixes in a one-day inning, spanking 17 maximums in the encounter against Afghanistan. He ended up with 148 from only 71 balls.
Purchased for Rs 5.25 crore at the auction by Kolkata Knight Riders, Morgan looks set to improve his mediocre IPL record -- 854 runs from 52 matches at a strike-rate of 121.13.
#3. Pat Cummins
The Aussie fast bowler smashed the record for the highest overseas purchase at the auction as Kolkata Knight Riders grabbed him for a whopping Rs 15.5 crore.
Pat Cummins is, undoubtedly, one of the best fast bowlers in the world across all formats. He had an incredible 2019, finishing the year with 99 international wickets.
Cummins has both the pace and accuracy to trouble the best of batsmen irrespective of the format, making him a genuine match-winner. KKR would have been well aware of this aspect when they decided to shell out the hefty amount on the fast bowler.
Also see:- IPL points table
So far, Cummins has claimed 17 IPL scalps from 16 games. However, that record looks set to get better. Cummins’ ability to get the big hits with the bat could also come in handy for Kolkata Knight Riders.Published 15 Sep 2020, 07:32 IST