The Kolkata Knight Riders' team had a poor performance last season. The team lost six matches in a row after winning four out of five matches and missed the qualifiers from close quarters.
Despite this, West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell performed well. He added 510 runs at an average of 56.66 and was also his highest (11) wicket-taker. The team has scored only one century in twelve seasons.
Among the foreign players, the team has options for miracle spinner Sunil Narine, batsman Eoin Morgan and the most expensive player from the league (Rs 15.5 crore), fast bowler Pat Cummins.
At the same time, captain Dinesh Karthik's team has an emerging batsman like Shubman Gill who can be fielded at the opening. Sunil Narayan and Tom Banton could be his opening partner. KKR will start its campaign on 23 September in Abu Dhabi against defending champions Mumbai Indians.
Team: Dinesh Karthik (Captain & Wicketkeeper), Eoin Morgan (Vice-Captain), Shubman Gill, Tom Banton, Sunil Narayan, Andre Russell, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Kuldeep Yadav, Pat Cummins, Famous Krishna, Loki Ferguson, Rinku Singh, Kamlesh Nagerkoti, Shivam Mavi, Nikhil Nayak, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Sandeep Warrier, Varun Chakraborty, and Siddhesh Lad.
Strengths: Apart from Australia's Pat Cummins, the team has an army of fast bowlers like Loki Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagerkoti, and Shivam. Apart from Sunil Narayan in the spin department, the Chinaman bowler is Kuldeep Yadav. One-day World Cup winner England captain Morgan's experience can benefit.
Weakness: Dinesh Karthik, captain of Gautam Gambhir, is under pressure to do better. He could not impress last season. The picture is not clear about the team combination. There is a dilemma regarding the batting order.
Team performance: 2008: sixth place, 2009: 8th, 2010: sixth, 2011: fourth, 2012: champion, 2013: 7th, 2014: champion, 2015: 5th, 2016: fourth, 2017: third, 2018: third, 2019: 5th