The Indian Premier League has been a great success story and the Kolkata franchise has been one of its popular characters. In all these years they have been entertaining the audience with their exciting brand of cricket. In the process, they won the tournament twice. They also have a large fanbase because of the well-known stars associated with the franchise.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have been home to some of the world-class players. Throughout their journey, they have made some interesting choices in the IPL auctions. Most of their players have done justice to their price tag. Among them, certain individuals took the team to its pinnacle and clearly defined the chants of “Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo Re”.
Here is the list of 5 best signings by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL history :
When Kolkata started their IPL journey it was a bumpy ride as they failed to reach the knock-out stages in the first three editions. So the franchise decided of a complete makeover before the 4th season. For starters, they bagged Gautam Gambhir for a whopping 10.4 crores in the 2011 IPL auction. As it turned out he became the most valuable commodity of their IPL history.
The southpaw led the Purple team for 7 consecutive seasons including two title-winning campaigns. He helped the team reach playoffs for a record 5 times in his tenure. He enjoyed an elusive captaincy record with a 55% win rate which made him one of the most successful leaders in the history of the tournament. Gautam will always be remembered for his pro-active captaincy as he always surprised the opposition with his bold tactics.
Even with his batting, he led the team from the front as he opened the innings and provided brisk starts. He scored more than 3000 runs in his stay with the Knight Riders. Gambhir is an absolute match-winner as his best season with the bat, 590 runs allowed the team to lift the trophy in 2012. His 28 half-centuries for the Kolkata team usually resulted in wins. Above all, he showed that a team can win championships even without a star-studded line-up.
It is fair to say that Kolkata’s fortunes changed after the arrival of West Indies mystery spinner, Sunil Narine. He was drafted into the team in 2012 and since then he has been a trusted sepoy of the Purple team. In every season he has shouldered the bowling responsibilities of the franchise. He is one of the few players whose stocks have kept rising in the IPL share market.
The Caribbean star has taken 122 wickets in his IPL career. Add to that his economy rate of 6.67 in 110 games is a mind-boggling stat considering the format where the batsmen have always targeted the bowlers. Throughout his KKR journey, he has been a trump card for his side and has bowled game-changing spells on multiple occasions. When the team won the titles in 2012 and 2014 Narine played a big role by scalping 24 and 21 wickets respectively.
What makes him special is his ability to bowl at any stage of the innings as he can pick wickets in powerplays and as well as in death overs. He can outfox the best of the batsmen with his bag of tricks. In recent times he has also developed into a useful batsman. Last year he scored 324 runs in 16 ties while opening the innings. In true sense, Narine has been a great investment for the KKR franchise.
When it comes to IPL many Indian stars have proved their mettle. One of them is Robin Uthappa who has been a constant factor since the start of this league. So in 2014 when he was bagged by the Kolkata franchise for an amount of 5 crores he had a big task in front of him. Fortunately, he has lived up to his billing and has been a good bet for the team.
The keeper-batsman has been a batting stay for the Knight Riders. In his 6 seasons, he has piled on close to 2500 runs. His ability to strike the ball has suited the true surfaces at the Eden Gardens. Robin’s aggressive approach has helped the team in getting explosive starts which have reduced the burden on the middle-order. Also, his keeping skills have allowed the skipper to field different winning combinations based on conditions.
He also formed one of the best opening pairs in the league history with Gambhir as his partner. Uthappa has played consistent cricket and it is evident from his numbers as his lowest season total is 282 runs. His best run came in 2014 when he gathered 660 runs and eventually it led the team to the winning podium that year. He can be proud of his record as he has done everything possible to contribute to the KKR glory.
Right now the most precious gem of Kolkata’s treasure chest is Andre Russell as he single-handedly won games for his side in 2019 IPL. Especially his batting has taken a giant leap in the last couple of years. However very few know that he was snapped by the franchise in the 2014 IPL auction for a mere 60 lakhs. Thereafter he became an integral part of the side with his all-round abilities.
Russell has the potential to play his natural game in the most difficult situations. He can carve out bowling attacks with his brute power and his IPL strike rate of 186 proves it. The Caribbean mohawk can also crank up the serious pace and has been playing the role of the third seamer for the KKR team. To go with it, his athletic fielding makes him a perfect recipe for the shorter format of the game.
In the 12th edition of IPL, Russell charmed the audience with his range hitting. He hit as many as 52 sixes in the season. It became a cardinal sin for bowlers to visit the Eden Gardens as Russell punished them with his bat. His efforts earned him the Most Valuable Player award in the season. Without a doubt, it can be said that the franchise will be ready to give a lifelong contract to him.
Some players will always remain the good books of the league and Yusuf Pathan is one of them. He is an impact player who can turn around the game in matter of overs. That’s why the Purple team spent a fortune of 9.6 crores on him in the 2011 IPL auction. His inclusion in the squad paid rich dividends as he became part of one of the most successful teams in the league history.
The Baroda cricketer has played 174 IPL ties in which he has scored more than 3200 runs. As far as his KKR journey is considered he has played 96 games over a span of 7 seasons. His explosive batting was one of the reasons why the team enjoyed a dream run in 2014. In that season Pathan stroked a 15 ball half-century against the Hyderabad team and it allowed the side to finish second in the points table. As a result, they went on to win the title and that knock certainly made a big difference.
Pathan has the knack of playing important cameos down the order. He gathered around 1800 runs while mostly batting at No.6 position for the Knight Riders. Whenever Yusuf was on strike the bowlers thought differently and it worked in favor of the KKR team in many tricky run-chases. Nobody can forget his contributions to the IPL and particularly the Kolkata team as their glory days coincided with his presence in their dugout.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- Who is Sanjana Ganesan? Know these 6 interesting facts about Sanjana Ganesan
- Knight Riders group invests in American cricket’s future, likely to own Los Angeles franchise
- 5 Players KKR might release ahead of the next IPL season
- IPL 2020: What happens if Net Run Rate of two teams is tied?
- IPL 2020: Match 54, KKR vs RR – KKR’s dominance over Royals, Cummins’ 4-wicket haul, Karthik’s records and more stats