New-look KKR eye a fresh start

For three years, the Kolkata Knight Riders have been the Indian Premier League’s most under-performing side. The Shah Rukh Khan-owned KKR have lost a whopping 24 games out of the 42 they have played in the three editions.

In the two seasons that the IPL was played in India, KKR won a meagre three matches away from Eden Gardens. They are also the only franchise not to have made the last-four grade even once. In a bid to turn things around, the team management changed the coach, captain, players as well as support staff, but to no avail.

Lack of success perhaps explains the non-retention of a single marquee player by KKR for IPL 4. By freezing out their former icon player Sourav Ganguly and not showing interest in the likes of Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle and Ishant Sharma, the KKR management has made it amply clear that they want to make a fresh start with ‘new’ faces.

At the auctions they spent half of their $9 million purse in picking up Gautam Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan, whose reputation as a big hitter has taken a big hit in the World Cup. The KKR management has tried to correct the imbalances in the their squad during the first three seasons by assembling an array of all-rounders who are expected to mount a strong challenge for IPL glory.

Jacques Kallis, Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib Al Hasan, Rajat Bhatia and Laxmi Ratan Shukla are all Jacks of all trades who are expected to back up the specialists – Gambhir, Eoin Morgan, Brad Haddin and Manoj Tiwary in batting and Brett Lee, L Balaji, Jaidev Undakat and Iqbal Abdulla in bowling.

There is no denying the fact that there is plenty of quality in the KKR’s 20-member squad but the Indian component is rather lightweight.

Gambhir has the right credentials to lead KKR, having led India successfully against the Kiwis in the run-up to the World Cup, but apart from the skipper himself, Pathan and Tiwary, the other Indian players are yet to prove themselves at this level. KKR’s other big worry is that they will miss the services of Lee, Haddin, Pattinson and Shakib for at least the first two matches as they will be on national duty. KKR, however, will take heart from the fact that on paper they have a pretty decent side. It may not be as imposing as the ones assembled by the Chennai Super kings and Mumbai Indians, but KKR are certainly better on paper than the likes of Kings XI Punjab, Deccan Chargers, Rajasthan Royals and Kochi Tuskers.

The biggest challenge for Gambhir and KKR, however, will be to win over the spectators at the Eden Gardens, who are known to swear by one Sourav Ganguly.

Gautam Gambhir (Captain)

No doubt, he is right man to lead KKR in IPL 4, but his brand of leadership will constantly be compared with that Sourav Ganguly, the man he has replaced. Gambhir must win over the KKR faithfuls, who remain distinctly bitter about the manner in which their favourite icon was discarded.

Key players:

Yusuf Pathan: He could be the key to winning over KKR faithfuls in the stands with his big hits. KKR need him to fire consistently with the bat and finish close games, something they have failed to do in earlier seasons. Pathan’s quickish off-spin gives Gambhir an added option if one of his frontline bowlers take a pounding.

Shakib Al Hasan: Will be worth his weight in gold when he joins the squad after national duty. His batting and bowling in Indian conditions will be an asset for KKR. The Bangladesh captain will be a key component in the middle-order as well as the middle overs.

Squad: Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan, Shreevats Goswami, Manoj Tiwary, Jaidev Unadkat, Sarabjit Ladda, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Rajat Bhatia, Manvinder Bisla, Pradeep Sangwan, Shami Ahmed, Iqbal Abdulla, Laxmi Ratan Shukla Foreign players (7) Jacques Kallis, Eoin Morgan, Shakib Al Hasan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Brad Haddin (wk), Brett Lee, James Pattinson.

  1. Dear Sir,

    I am Mandeep Singh I am playing Cricket since last 10 years from PCA (Punjab
    Cricket Association) and also played from DAV Collage ,Chandigarh 3 years. I
    have following track records which will be proof of my

    performance and will Useful for judging me.

    I have represented:–

    1. Punjab State -3 times–under/17.

    2. North Zone-Once– under/17.

    3. Inter University first class tournaments-2 times. MAN OF THE MATCH twice and
    MAN OF THE TOURNAMENT in inter state university tournament at Gawalior, MP..
    Where universities from India participated.

    4. At Singapore-20twenty-twice.(Man of the Match—Once)

    5. . Against the 20-twenty team of Netherlands played at Tau Devi Lal
    Stadium, Panchkula and was live telecast..Where some of the Ranji Players
    of the Punjab also played but I proved better then them all.
    (Out of 4 matches I was declared MAN OF THE MATCH in 3 matches)

    Following is the list of Netherland team I have played——
    7 players (highlighted ) are in Netherland world cup team.
    Netherlands World Cup squad:
    Peter Borren (captain),———–1
    Wesley Barresi,
    Mudassar Bukhari ,,————-2
    Atse Buurman,—————–3
    Tom Cooper,
    Tom de Grooth,————————–4
    Alexei Kervezee,
    Bradley Kruger,
    Bernard Loots,
    Adeel Raja,
    Pieteer Seelaar,——————5
    Eric Szwarczynski,————-6
    Ryan ten Doeschate,———-7
    Berend Westdijk,
    Bas Zuiderent

    6. Participated KINGS XI PUNJAB CUP 2010 CUP 2010 at MOHALI/CHANDIGARH in
    Jan.2010 .

    7. Participated in TRIAL of KKR IPL 2011 CUP 2010 at TRAI, Delhi on 02/03/2011.

    During my Trial of Batting in net, my batting was appreciated by their main
    coach Mr Dav Whatmore he told that I am technically very good and very excited for
    Batting.But due to some reason I was not selected and told after Lunch that all the bats
    man can go back.as they wanten one boller only.

    Kindly help me to give trial for your selectors of esteem team.

    I assure you that l will prove my talent whenever I will get the chance to
    prove it while my trial.

    I can play an important role in a victory to your team sir just allow me to give

    trial; I have proved in the past also that I am a match winning player who can
    perform under pressure.

    My GONNY who is playing the IPL has played under my captaincy, I can prove
    like Gonny. But as I am from the poor family I do not have the
    resources.
    Your selector’s opinion will be final and will be accepted by me.

    I will show my original certificates as and when you required..
    I am ready to play free with you dear PAJJI.

    I hope you will please help me to full fill my dreams and to reach my
    destination.

    WISHING ALL THE BEST FOR SUCCESS OF CRICKET .

    Regards,
    Mandeep Singh
    H.No -3283,Sector-71,SAS Nagar,
    Mohali,Punjab, India.

    Mobile–09316527900, LL–0172–2261738.
    kalyansingh71@yahoo.com

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