Will it be 5th time lucky for KKR?
You can hate them, you can love them but you certainly can’t ignore the Kolkata Knight Riders. This is one team which despite not winning anything significant over the four seasons is the most talked about. The major factor behind this, is the mere presence of an owner like the heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan. KKR by far has made the most amount of money during the cricket carnival (IPL) due to its large fan base and high merchandise sales. The only thing that KKR has missed during the IPL is finding the correct balance of the team and winning on a consistent basis. It’s high time that they find their focus and give their fans something to cheer about other than their owners successful movies.
IPL-5 could turn things around for KKR, because they have a strong team, a good mix of Indian and foreign players, a new coach, and not to forget tons of enthusiastic fans waiting to see KKR lift that DLF-IPL trophy. But the success of the team mainly depends on the players as they have to gel together as a team and finally complete the job at hand on the field. Everyone can say everything they want to off the field but when it comes to playing, its the bat and ball that needs to do the talking.
They have got the squad that can take them to IPL glory. A perfect cool headed captain in Gautam Gambhir who can toil with the bowlers at the top of the order. An equally composed Jacques Kallis at the top of the order who showed last year that he is a class apart and can score heavily in any form of the game. Then comes the man who can turn the match on its head by his power hitting, none other than Yusuf Pathan. His bowling skills also come in handy during crunch situations and on slow tracks. According to me the biggest asset that KKR has at the moment is Shakib-al-Hasan. He is a complete match winner who contributes both with the ball and the bat. He showed his worth in the recently concluded Asia cup where he helped Bangladesh reach the final. He is a terrific find and is one of the best finishers of the game at the moment. Manoj Tiwary has been consistent with the bat and his hard work has paid dividends, earning him a place in the Indian team. He is lightning in the field and has taken some breath taking catches.
Among the bowlers, KKR has the likes of Brett lee and Shane Bond who can run through the top order of any team by their sheer pace and swing. Laximpathy Balaji and Jaydev Unadkat will try to cement their places in the 11 by giving solid performances as they have the potential required to excel at the highest level. The most successful bowler for KKR in IPL-4 was Iqbal Abdullah and I can’t see any reason why he won’t be able to repeat his heroics this year too. He has had an amazing domestic season and is rearing to unleash his spin skills in the IPL. The slow turning tracks at the Eden Garden will help his cause. Moreover, the KKR bowlers have the support of the sultan of swing – Wasim Akram (bowling coach) whose advice and assistance will help them grow leaps and bounds.
These were the players to look out for this season from KKR and the KKR team and support staff would hope that they play well as a team, complement each other and bring the title home. Moreover, the massive crowds at the Eden Garden will act as a 12th man for KKR and should help them a lot in their campaign. I hope that they will give the other teams a good run for their money this year.