Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo Re! Kolkata Knight Riders did fight and win their maiden title in 2012, and then the 2nd in 2014. This year, the Kolkata-based IPL franchise will be looking to join the club of Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. A club of teams that have won the IPL trophy thrice or more. Can IPL 2021 be the season of KKR? Fans and pundits wait to witness.
Kolkata Knight Riders were at the 5th spot at the end of IPL 2020. The team kept struggling to find the right combination and could only win seven out of their 14 league matches. A half-fit Andre Russell and a not-so-effective Sunil Narine were of no help, either. KKR would want to turn the tide and grab their 3rd IPL title this season.
It will be Eoin Morgan who will lead the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021. Fans have high hopes from Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, and others. Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, on the other hand, will also be under the spotlight as his future selections may depend on his IPL performance.
The Kolkata-based franchise also flaunts come capable batters in Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, and Karun Nair. The all-rounder department incorporates Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, and Ben Cutting. All in all, the franchise seems to have all the boxes ticked for a successful IPL season.
Will KKR win the trophy this year? What are the odds of a successful campaign under the leadership of Eoin Morgan? Where will the franchise stand at the end of IPL 2021? Let’s find out with a S.W.O.T. analysis.
In Eoin Morgan, KKR have got one of the more proven captains of white-ball cricket. The left-handed English batsman scored 418 runs in 14 innings at an average of 41.80 last year. Morgan, in his first stint as the full-time KKR captain, may just provide KKR with the element they’ve been missing to win their third IPL title.
Kolkata Knight Riders retained 17 of their players despite a disappointing season in 2020. This year, they have the services of Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib-Al Hasan and West Indies duo of Rusell and Narine up their sleeves. Then there are the Aussie superstar Pat Cummins and New Zealand paceman Lockie Ferguson who can knock the stumps out of the ground more often than not.
KKR’s struggles in the spin department are known to one and all. The franchise boasts the likes of Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Harbhajan Singh, Varun Chakravarthy, Shakib-Al-Hasan, and Pawan Negi in its ranks to cause damage. The spinners, however, haven’t been effective enough for the side to cause victories.
Sunil Narine hasn’t been able to cause much damage with his new action, while Kuldeep Yadav’s poor white-ball form is another worry for KKR. Furthermore, fitness issues with Chakravarthy cannot be ignored too, and it remains to be seen how the leg-spinner fares in IPL 2021.
Free from the stress of leading the side, former skipper Dinesh Karthik can now focus on his batting and help KKR post big totals. Moreover, the duo of Shaikh-Al Hasan and Harbhajan Singh is also expected to stabilise the playing XI at KKR, and win games for the franchise on slow tracks in Delhi and Chennai.
Let’s not forget about the signing of uncapped players like Venkatesh Iyer and Vaibhav Arora, who both would be looking forward to grabbing any opportunity that comes at their door. Arora, a medium-pacer recently took a hat-trick against Maharashtra on his Vijay Hazare Trophy debut. Iyer has also been in the limelight after hitting a 146-ball 198 against Punjab in the same tournament,
KKR would be looking for a solid start in the powerplay this season. The franchise will be, once again, banking on Shubman Gill for a foundation for the middle order to benefit from. The young Indian batsman, who was criticised for consuming deliveries upfront last season, would want to turn the tables this year.
The franchise will also want to strike a combination that can win games and bring the cup to Kolkata for the first time after 2014. Can Morgan & Co. surpass the likes of Surnrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians, and Delhi Capitals to grab the IPL 2021 trophy? Only time will tell.
Kolkata Knight Riders will commence their IPL 2021 campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad on 11 April at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. Since this year’s IPL will be played behind closed doors, KKR fans are keeping an eye on all the updates concerning their favourite franchise via social media. KKR will be playing their games in Chennai, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Bengaluru.
We now have to wait for 11 April to find out how KKR performs this season, and whether or not Eoin Morgan will lift the trophy. Keep following AlShorts, where you get short news in 30 seconds, for every single detail and update about IPL 2021.