IPL 2021: Eoin Morgan-led Kolkata Knight Riders aim for 3rd title post tough transition

1 month ago 7

2-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will be looking to recreate old magic under the astute Eoin Morgan in a bid for their 3rd Indian Premier League title in IPL 2021. Notably, KKR struggled for stability in the last edition in the UAE, while a change of captaincy at the halfway stage did not help them either.

However, in Eoin Morgan, Kolkata have got one of the most astute brains of the white-ball format. KKR have made some smart additions to their squad in the mini-auction, apart from retaining their core of the side -- 17 players -- despite a disappointing season.

Experienced Turks to complement young KKR knights

Kolkata Knight Riders missed out on a playoff berth in two successive seasons, but they have strengthened themselves in two key areas ahead of the Indian Premier League’s 14th edition. The two-time champion has added experience and also enhanced its options in every department.

By bringing back Bangladesh star all-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan and signing 2016 IPL Final man-of-the-match Ben Cutting, they have got the much-needed back-ups for the Windies duo of Narine and Russell, who failed to fire last season.

Australia's Pat Cummins will lead the pacers while Lockie Ferguson with a bunch of promising Indians — Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Sandeep Warrier — will add firepower to the KKR pace attack. Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav and mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy complement Harbhajan Singh’s off-spin.

KKR to miss Eden Gardens?

Kolkata Knight Riders will surely miss the helpful conditions for pace bowlers that Eden Gardens offers. Notably, KKR will play their first three league games in Chennai before moving to Mumbai for their next two league games. Morgan & Co. will then fly to Ahmedabad for four more games before ending their league stage in Bangalore with their last five games.

IPL 2021 Auctions

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib al Hasan returned to Kolkata Knight Riders after the franchise paid Rs 3.2 crore to get his services at the auction. KKR also roped in India spinner Harbhajan Singh for Rs 2 crores. India Test triple-centurion and experienced domestic cricketer Karun Nair, too, got a new home at KKR, as he was bought by the franchise at his base price of 50 lakh.

Venkatesh Iyer and Vaibhav Arora were the uncapped picks of the franchise while Sheldon Jackson will be the backup for Dinesh Karthik as he was the only keeper in the team prior to the auction.

— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) March 7, 2021

KKR FULL Squad

Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Tim Seifert, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Harbhajan Singh, Karun Nair, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer and Pawan Negi.

KKR FULL SCHEDULE FOR IPL 2021

April 11th, Sunday, 2021, 07:30 PM: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai

April 13th, Tuesday, 07:30 PM: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians in Chennai

April 18th, 2021, Sunday, 03:30 PM: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders in Mumbai

April 21st, 2021, Wednesday, 07:30 PM: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings in Mumbai

April 24th, 2021, Saturday, 07:30 PM: Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders in Mumbai

April 26th, 2021, Monday, 07:30 PM: Punjab Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders in Ahmedabad

April 29th, 2021, Thursday, 07:30 PM: Delhi Capitals vs Kolkata Knight Riders in Ahmedabad

May 3rd, 2021, Monday, 07:30 PM: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ahmedabad

May 8th, 2021, Saturday, 03:30 PM: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Capitals in Ahmedabad

May 10th, 2021, Monday, 07:30 PM: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders in Bangalore

May 12th, 2021, Wednesday, 07:30 PM: Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders in Bangalore

May 15th, 2021, Saturday, 07:30 PM: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Punjab Kings in Bangalore

May 18th, 2021, Tuesday, 7:30 PM: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals in Bangalore

May 21st, 2021, Friday, 03:30 PM: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in Bangalore