Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2019 Team Preview

Head coach: Jacques Kallis

Captain: Dinesh Karthik

Previous finishes

2018: 3rd
2017: 3rd
2016: 4th
2015: 5th
2014: Winners
2013: 7th
2012: Winners
2011: 4th
2010: 6th
2009: 8th
2008: 6th

2019 Roster

Local players: Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Shubman Gill, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Nikhil Naik, Prithvi Raj Yarra, Shrikant Mundhe

Overseas players: Chris Lynn (AUS), Andre Russell (WI), Sunil Narine (WI), Carlos Brathwaite (WI), Lockie Ferguson (NZ), Anrich Nortje (SA), Harry Gurney (ENG), Joe Denly (ENG)

Newcomers: Carlos Brathwaite, Lockie Ferguson, Anrich Nortje, Nikhil Naik, Harry Gurney, Yarra Prithviraj, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe

What’s new at Kolkata Knight Riders coming into IPL 2019?

KKR came third for a second consecutive season in 2018 but they were not completely happy with their performances and roster so there have been numerous changes to their squad ahead of this campaign.

They targeted pace bowlers in the auction tying up Lockie Ferguson, Anrich Nortje and Harry Gurney with a clear plan to use speed, youthfulness and unknown quantities to surprise their opponents. The other key acquisitions were all-rounders Carlos Brathwaite and Joe Denly but both are likely to play second fiddle to Andre Russell and Sunil Narine.

Who are the key players for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2019?

Sunil Narine will be vital to KKR’s hopes in this addition with his big-hitting at the top of the order and his spin despite missing the Pakistan Super League through injury. He has recovered from the finger injury that kept him out of that tournament and they will look for him to reproduce his form from last year where he was their leading wicket-taker with 17 and third highest runscorer.

Skipper Dinesh Karthik has to be considered as a key man for the team after being their topscorer with the bat in 2018 with 498 runs – just ahead of Chris Lynn’s 491. He has had a difficult time with the bat when representing his country in ODIs and T20s, and he is under some pressure to perform well in this tournament to give his chances of being named in India’s ODI World Cup squad a boost.

What are the question marks for Kolkata Knight Riders coming into IPL 2019?

The Knight Riders have plenty of depth and quality in their squad but will be interesting to see whether their investment in young pace bowlers pays off. They may take some time to find which combination clicks and given the number of changes to their roster, they may not be at their best immediately.

The fitness of Narine will be a slight concern although the fact he missed the PSL may give have given him a much-needed break coming into this one, while they will hope that skipper Dinesh Karthik can rekindle his form from last season and brush off his poor recent international displays.

How do The Stats Zone think Kolkata Knight Riders will perform in IPL 2019?

KKR have consistently challenged for honours at the business end of the tournament in recent years and they have to be considered to do the same once again. They have quality throughout their roster and they have two star all-rounders in Russell and Narine who give them great depth with bat and ball. A top four place is highly likely.

Prediction

May fall just short but should reach the knockout phase.