Kolkata Knight Riders have been one of the formidable sides in the Indian Premier League since its inception. The Shahrukh Khan owned team has won the title twice, a feat only matched by Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. Kolkata Knight Riders were consistently placed in the top half of the table all through the league stages and rounded up their league campaign by finishing off on the fourth spot.
Kolkata has been one of the few teams who stuck to a core side and dint chop or change too much all through the season. The think tank was clear about what role each of the players needed to play in achieving success for the team.
So here are the major factors instrumental in Kolkata Knight Riders having another stellar season in the IPL
The Sunil Narine Gamble
Kolkata Knight Riders took a big gamble by promoting West Indian Sunil Narine at the top of the order in the role of a pinch hitter. Narine delivered more than expected by producing a string of cameos with his hitting. Narine's quickfire runs helped KKR get off to fliers and set the platform for big totals. Narine' runs were a bonus of sorts for his team.
Chris Lynn's Power Packed Hitting
Chris Lynn was KKR' hitman at the top of the order.Lynn showcased his destructive abilities with the willow by producing some scintillating innings. Lynn a great striker of the ball scored runs at an alarming pace with his belligerent hitting. Lynn produced some thunderous innings to decimate opposition in the powerplays.
Robin Uttapa and Gautam Gambhir's Invaluable Experience
Skipper Gautam Gambhir and experienced batman Robin Uttapa have been the lynchpin for KKR all season. Gambhir and Uthappa held the innings together in most of the league matches. While Gambhir played the sheet anchor's role to perfection, Robin was the aggressor of sorts by stepping on the acceleration button with his attacking strokeplay.
Manish Pandey's aggresive
Manish Pandey played his hand by contributing to his team's batting with some quickfire runs in the middle overs. Pandey was successful in providing his team with the much-required acceleration towards the end of an innings.
Allround Prowess in absence of Andre Rusell:
Colin Grandhomme proved to be an able replacement for Andre Russel who was ruled out of the tournament. The Kiwi all-rounder added depth to the KKR batting and complimented the pace attack with his medium pacers. Colin has showcased his ability to hit some dangerous hits all around the park. Chris Woakes played his role of an all-rounder pretty well. Woakes formed part of a potent pace attack with Umesh Yadav, Trent Boult and Nathan Coutler Nile in providing regular breakthroughs for his side. Woakes made noteworthy contributions with the bat coming lower down the order. Umesh Yadav bowled with brisk pace all through the tournament. Umesh has been very consistent with his bowling a tight line, an area where he has improved significantly.
Potent Spin attack:
West Indian off spinner Sunil Narine didn't have the best possible season with the ball but was still effective enough to choke the run flow. KKR also had the luxury of playing quality tweakers in veteran Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav alongside Narine in conditions conducive to spin bowling.
So the Purple Brigade are well on course to add a third title to their kitty if they go past Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier and beat Rising Pune Supergiants in the grand finale on Sunday.