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IPL 2021 Kolkata Knight Riders Preview: Can Shakib & Captain Morgan Turn KKR’s Fate?

by Apr 3, 2021IPL

Kolkata Knight Riders Preview Baner

Time for Kolkata Knight Riders Preview.

If you were a Kolkata Knight Riders supporter last year (like I was), it was a very tough season to follow. A great squad, but did not get going AT ALL.

New IPL edition, different fate for KKR? With Harbhajan Singh and Shakib Al Hasan, the steal of the auction, can KKR spin to the title? Will they make amends this year and not make too many changes?

What do you think? Does KKR have a shot? Here are my thoughts.

Also Read: IPL 2021 Auctions Review, KKR All Time XI

IPL History

2012, 2014 – (Champions), 2017, 2018 – (3rd), 2011, 2016 – (4th)

How Did They Do Last Year?

5th. Two seasons in a row, KKR have lost out on net run-rate. Never convincing last year, managed to pull victory out of jaws of defeat.

  • The much hyped finishing trio of Dinesh Karthik-Eoin Morgan-Andre Russell did not materialize. Brendon McCullum’s infamous notebook & lack of clarity on their position contributed to the underwhelming year. Oh and the DK-Morgan captaincy switch mid-tournament did not help at all.
  • The story of the year was Varun Chakravarthy. An architect whose cricket dreams were broken finally found fame with match winning performances. He was even selected for an international cap, but fitness issues kept him back.

Injury News

Gurkeerat Singh Mann replaces Rinku Singh, who suffered a knee injury. Captain Eoin Morgan also suffered a split webbing in the India vs England series, but is hopeful to be ready by the first match.

Complete Kolkata Knight Riders Squad

Batsman: Karun Nair, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, , Rahul Tripathi

WK: Sheldon Jackson, Dinesh Karthik

Fast Medium: Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Vaibhav Arora

Spinners: Harbhajan Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy

All-Rounders: Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Pawan Negi, Venkatesh Iyer

Overseas: Eoin Morgan*, Pat Cummins, Ben Cutting, Lockie Ferguson, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Tim Seifert (WK), Shakib Al Hasan

Withdrawn: Rinku Singh (Injured)

Predicted KKR XI

  1. Shubman Gill, 2. Rahul Tripathi/Karun Nair, 3. Nitish Rana, 4. Shakib Al Hasan5. Dinesh Karthik (WK), 6. Eoin Morgan (C), 7. Andre Russell/ Ben Cutting8. Pat Cummins/ Lockie Ferguson, 9. Kamlesh Nagarkoti/Pawan Negi, 10.Varun Chakravarthy, 11. Prasidh Krishna

Watch Out For

  • Prasidh Krishna. An international cap can definitely raise confidence of a player. Will we see a Prasidh Krishna 2.0 in IPL 2021? With a lack of Indian fast bowlers in the squad, he has to carry the burden on his shoulders.
  • With their first three games in Chennai, don’t be surprised if KKR picks the experienced Harbhajan SinghShakib Al Hasan instead of pace duo of Pat Cummins-Lockie Ferguson. If Shakib can occupy a spot in the top order, then the finishing strength of KKR can finally showcase their abilities.
  • Can KKR manage to play both Russell and Ben Cutting, especially at Bangalore? With so many international stars in the line up, Ben Cutting might not make everybody’s foreign 4, but can hit the ball a long, long way.

Where Can Things Go Wrong For the Knight Riders?

  • Plain & Simple. Get the XI right, go to the qualifiers. Keep shuffling and create a ‘fluid middle order, ‘ and get stuck in the middle of the points table.
  • Maybe one way to go is to have different XIs per venue. Have a spin-filled lineup for Chennai (Pawan Negi, Varun, Kuldeep, Harbhajan, Shakib the options) and pack it with pace in Mumbai (Cummins, Lockie, Ben Cutting, Russell, Mavi, Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier the options).

Venues & Fixtures


Bangalore- 5, Ahmedabad – 4, Mumbai – 3, Chennai – 2


  • 11 April: SRH vs KKR (Chennai)
  • 13 April: KKR vs MI (Chennai)
  • 18 April: RCB vs KKR (Chennai)
  • 21 April: KKR vs CSK (Mumbai)
  • 24 April: RR vs KKR (Mumbai)
  • 26 April: PBKS vs KKR (Ahmedabad)
  • 29 April: DC vs KKR (Ahmedabad)
  • 3 May: KKR vs RCB (Ahmedabad)
  • 8 May: KKR vs DC (Ahmedabad)
  • 10 May: MI vs KKR (Bangalore)
  • 12 May: CSK vs KKR (Bangalore)
  • 15 May: KKR vs PBKS (Bangalore)
  • 18 May: KKR vs RR (Bangalore)
  • 21 May: KKR vs SRH (Bangalore)
  • 25 May: Qualifier 1 (Ahmedabad)
  • 26 May: Eliminator (Ahmedabad)
  • 28 May: Qualifier 2 (Ahmedabad)
  • 30 May: Final (Ahmedabad)


The scheduling will benefit KKR this season. If they can capitalize on their first three games in Chennai, they will have 5 games at the Chinnaswamy at the backend. Opposition beware. Sixes galore with this lineup.

Most Runs Shubman Gill
Most WicketsPrasidh Krishna
Emerging PlayerKamlesh Nagarkoti to get a full season?
Surprise PackageHarbhajan Singh
X FactorShakib Al Hasan
Broken Cricket DreamDinesh Karthik, the finisher – Can he make India’s World Cup squad of 23? Or have we seen the last of DK in Indian clothing?
Kolkata Knight Riders Preview Predictions

What do you think of the Kolkata Knight Riders Preview? Your First XI? Will they make the IPL 2021 qualifiers?

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Copyright (2021: 4/3/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X –


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