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

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Withdrawn: Rinku Singh (Injured)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 –

IPL Week 3 Recap: Diary

In IPL Week 3, there was Mankading drama, catching brilliance, finally some direct hits, and the brilliance of….none other than AB De Villiers. Oh yeah, and King Kohli is also back.

We recap IPL Week 3 via our Twitter dairy with #BCDoftheDay: Broken Cricket Dream of the Day.

In the first two weeks of IPL 2020, the tournament threw at us Tewatia’s brilliance, Pooran’s save of the century, and the young Indian talent. There were heartbreaks, Super Overs, and even a hit-wicket!

ALSO READ: Unity in Diversity XI and Fantasy Commentators XI

What Was Your Favorite Magic Moment?

We continue our IPL Diary with #BCDoftheDay – Part II – The Halfway Mark. We have several videos linked in the tweet, so you can watch the replay if you missed out.


Comment below your answer as well as your favorite moments of last week. Let us know what you think!

Enjoy the headlines!

Highlights – Week 3

Day 15 – IPL is where you get entertainment, drama, dancing,…,and even comedy!
Day 15 Game 2 – Sharjah is a joke – 227 vs 200 – why be a fast bowler?
Day 16 – Dropped Catches and Redemptions feat Manish Pandey

Day 16 Game 2 – Chris Jordan < Watson + Faf

Day 17 – To Mankad or Not to Mankad, that is the question

(Oh and also subscribe for more such articles!)

Day 18 – Pollard’s new look trumps Buttler’s brilliance
Day 19 – The worst game of the IPL? Courtesy Choking Chennai Super Kings.

Day 20 – Finally, Finally a DIRECT HIT! It has taken 20 days.

Day 21 – Ashwin vs. Buttler and direct hits galore

Day 22 – King Kohli is back. CSK definitely are not.

Day 23 Game 1 – Tewatia Can Do No Wrong & Riyan Parag Can Dance!

Day 23 Game 2 – Stoinis Out, Delhi Capitals Out

Day 24 – Why AB? Why? WHY DID YOU RETIRE????

Sources: IPLT20.comTwitter

IPL All-Time XI: RR and KKR

Well, well, well, the IPL is here. It is that time of the year. Okay not quite, 2020 is weird. Anyway, six months delayed, but IPL-13 is finally here.

Cricket has restarted and England has done their part in hosting West Indies, Pakistan, and Australia. Now it is time to jump ship across to the U.A.E. for the Indian Premier League.

ESPNCricinfo recently did a series on all-time IPL XI teams. Although we agree on some players, I have a different take on most teams. So for the next few days, we will be doing IPL All-Time XI, 2 teams each day.

Why not start with the teams that inspired the IPL craze? Yes, I am talking about the winners of the 1st IPL, Rajasthan Royals, and Kolkata Knight Riders for whom Brendon McCullum blazed 158 in the first game of the IPL.

All-Time XI – Rules

First, we will first give you a chance to vote on who you think should be in the All-Time XI and then display our All-Time XI.

  • Limit to 11 players per team (you can play around with the balance of the team)
  • Maximum of 4 foreign players in the XI
  • Needs to be able to field a team (a wicket-keeper and 5 bowling options at least)

Note, with major auctions every three years, several players may be in multiple All-Time XI teams.

Rajasthan Royals

Highlights: 2008 (Champions), 2013 (3rd), 2015, 2018 – (4th)

My Rajasthan Royals – XI

Here is my Rajasthan Royals XI. I picked several players from their 2008 winning campaign.

Note: The foreign players are in bold.

  1. Jos Butler (2018-2019) – WK
  2. Rahul Dravid (2011-2013) – (C)
  3. Shane Watson (2008-2015)
  4. Ajinkya Rahane (2011-2015; 2018-2019)
  5. Sanju Samson (2013-2015; 2018-2019)
  6. Brad Hodge (2012-2014)
  7. Yusuf Pathan (2008-2010)
  8. Ravindra Jadeja (2008-2009)
  9. Shreyas Gopal (2018-2019)
  10. Sohail Tanvir (2008)
  11. Siddharth Trivedi (2008-2013)

Honorable Mentions: Steven Smith (2014-2019), Shane Warne (2008-2011), Swapnil Asnodkar (2008-2011), Stuart Binny (2011-2019)

Audience Poll – RR XI

The results are in! We received about 29 votes. Here is what the audience voted for:

  1. Rahul Dravid – Captain
  2. Shane Watson
  3. Ajinkya Rahane/Steven Smith (tie) [*Smith will not make it in because of the foreign quota of 4]
  4. Sanju Samson – WK
  5. Jos Butler
  6. Ben Stokes
  7. Ravindra Jadeja
  8. James Faulkner/Shane Warne (tie)
  9. Dhawal Kulkarni
  10. Munaf Patel
  11. Pravin Tambe/Shreyas Gopal (Tie)

*Note: Jofra Archer had more votes than Munaf Patel but because of the 4 foreign players quote, he lost to Faulkner/Shane Warne by one vote.

Missed out by Barest of Margins: Jofra Archer (the irony), Yusuf Pathan, Sohail Tanvir

Some Votes: Siddharth Trivedi, Shaun Tait, Stuart Binny, Krishnappa Gowtham

Less than 2 Votes: Johan Botha, Swapnil Asnodkar, Naman Ojha, Dishant Yagnik, Brad Hodge

Was there another player you would have liked to see? Comment Below!

Kolkata Knight Riders

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


Here is my KKR XI. Most of the players are from the 2012-2014 generation in which KKR won twice.

  1. Sunil Narine (2012-2019)
  2. Gautam Gambhir (2011-2017)
  3. Jacques Kallis (2011-2014)
  4. Robin Uthappa (2014-2019)
  5. Manish Pandey (2014-2017)
  6. Dinesh Karthik (2018-2019)
  7. Andre Russell (2014-2019)
  8. Piyush Chawla (2014-2019)
  9. Morne Morkel (2014-2016)
  10. Umesh Yadav (2014-2017)
  11. Kuldeep Yadav (2016-2019)

Honorable Mentions: Chris Lynn (2014-2019), Yusuf Pathan (2011-2017), Shakib Al Hasan (2011-2017), Manvinder Bisla (2011-2014)

Audience Poll – KKR XI

  1. Gautam Gambhir – Captain
  2. Manish Pandey
  3. Robin Uthappa
  4. Shakib Al Hasan/Morne Morkel (Tie)
  5. Jacques Kallis (Tie with 5.)
  6. Dinesh Karthik – WK
  7. Andre Russell
  8. Sunil Narine
  9. Umesh Yadav
  10. Kuldeep Yadav
  11. Piyush Chawla

*Note: Shakib, Morkel, and Kallis are tied so 2/3 can fill in the spots. (If it is a turning pitch, we will play Shakib; otherwise, Morne it is).

Missed out by the Barest of Margins: Brendon McCullum (irony #2 – had to be from New Zealand), Brett Lee, Chris Lynn, Ishant Sharma, Sourav Ganguly

Some Votes: Lakshmipathy Balaji, Suryakumar Yadav, Shubman Gill, Eoin Morgan, Shoaib Akhtar, Nitesh Rana, Yusuf Pathan

Less than 2 Votes: Manoj Tiwary, Manvinder Bisla, Ryan Ten Doeschate, Rajat Bhatia, Iqbal Abdulla

Please vote and share with your friends to see what their best XI is? PLEASE SHARE, SUBSCRIBE, AND COMMENT BELOW ON WHAT YOU THINK!

Next time we will analyze the Best XIs of DC and KXIP. Let the games begin!

For other IPL All-Time XIs, check this page out. For other World XIs, check this page out.

Sources: Cricinfo Stats, Cricinfo IPL All-Time XI

Image Courtesy: Shane Watson – NAPARAZZI / CC BY-SA 2.0; Shane Warne – Chris Brown / via CC 2.0; Jacques Kallis – Kolkata Knight Riders – Official / via CC 3.0; Dinesh Karthik – Dee03 / CC BY-SA 3.0; Sunil Narine – Kolkata Knight Riders – Official / via CC 3.0