IPL 2019 Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders

We now come to one of the more successful teams in the history of the Indian Premier League. The Kolkata Knight Riders have won the title on two occasions. And as such, there will always be plenty of money placed on KKR in the online cricket betting markets.

That success has traditionally been built on a settled squad and starting XI. But when their long-serving captain Gautam Gambhir left Kolkata in 2018 the team struggled at times. Will 2019 be different and will the Knight Riders be a strong option for matka gambling at IPL 12?

What are the Kolkata Knight Riders’ odds to win the 2019 IPL Title?

In the current IPL online betting, 2019 shows the Kolkata Knight Riders as a 6.50 shot with Betway to win the title. That makes them joint third favourites out of the eight IPL teams. As winners in 2012 and 2014, there will be support for them at that price.

KKR made it to the knockouts in 2018. They weren’t always convincing, though, and lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second qualifier. The departure of Gambhir made the Knight Riders less solid at the top of the order. However, they can address that situation and improve this year.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Who are the best players in the Kolkata Knight Riders Squad?

In the past, the Knight Riders have worked well as a team. Furthermore, their squad also contains some star individual players. Sunil Narine has been an important bowler for KKR for so long now. Team fans will therefore be pleased to see the West Indian spinner back in action.

Robin Uthappa is an experienced opener and he will resume his partnership with Chris Lynn at the top of the order. Carlos Brathwaite is a big hitter and useful all-rounder. Meanwhile, his West Indian teammate Andre Russell adds to a powerful middle order. Holding this all together is the skipper Dinesh Karthik, who remains a reliable run scorer, particularly in the event of a top order collapse.

Bowling looks very strong, too, with the pace of Lockie Ferguson and the productive death bowling of Harry Gurney. Along with Narine, Kuldeep Yadav can tie up teams in the middle overs and the Kolkata Knight Riders look good for matka gambling in 2019.

Who are the highest paid players in the Kolkata Knight Riders Squad?

It’s sometimes hard to track down confirmed salaries for some of the IPL teams. However, Kolkata declared a full list for their 2019 retained players. From that select bunch, opener Chris Lynn leads the way with $1.3 million. That makes him one of three players to hit the million-dollar mark.

Sunil Narine is close behind on $1.2 million, followed by Dinesh Karthik who hits $1 million exactly. Other core members of this Knight Riders squad include Andre Russell at $974,000, while Robin Uthappa has to settle for $890,000.

As we’ve seen, Kolkata Knight Riders weren’t the biggest spenders in the auction. They will therefore be relying on those highly paid players to make them a strong proposition in the IPL betting markets.

Kolkata Knight Riders History

The Knight Riders have been in the IPL since the competition began in 2008. They have won it twice – in 2012 and 2014. They are therefore one of the first teams to look for in the IPL betting markets.

Things weren’t always like this, though. In the early years of the tournament, KKR struggled to make it into the playoffs. Fans would have to wait until 2011 for their side to get out of the groups. But while they fell short that time, Kolkata returned for their first IPL triumph 12 months later.

2014 saw further success- and Kolkata Knight Riders have finished no worse than fifth in four subsequent tournaments. The key to their strength lies in a settled side, and many of the players appearing at IPL 12 have been with this franchise for many years.

Notable Player Movements

Joe Denly may not have been the biggest signing at the 2019 auction, but it will be interesting to see how he fares for the Kolkata Knight Riders. He’s an opening batsman who also bowls some useful leg spin. As such, he could be a useful alternative to Chris Lynn at the top of the order.

The arrival of Harry Gurney has excited English cricket fans too. The left arm seamer played ODI cricket for his country but was discarded a few years ago. In T20 cricket, he’s emerged to become a useful death bowler in a successful Notts Outlaws side and he deserves a chance at IPL12.

Carlos Brathwaite isn’t new to the IPL. However, after a frustrating 2018 on the sidelines for Sunrisers Hyderabad, he crosses to Kolkata in search of more game time. KKR fans should also be excited to see the pace of Lockie Ferguson. The Kiwi has been clocking up for fast speeds in T20 cricket and could be an outside option in the IPL 2019 odds for top bowler.

A number of young, uncapped players are also on board for IPL 12 and the Knight Riders look to have made some shrewd acquisitions. There hasn’t really been anything notable in terms of departures. So once again, KKR look to be one of the more settled of the IPL teams.

Season by Season Record

Here is a summary of Kolkata Knight Riders’ results since the Indian Premier League began in 2008:

2008: Sixth
2009: Eighth
2010: Sixth
2011: Beaten in Preliminary Round of Playoffs
2012: Champions
2013: Seventh
2014: Champions
2015: Fifth
2016: Beaten in Preliminary Round of Playoffs
2017: Beaten in Second Qualifier
2018: Beaten in Second Qualifier

Those statistics show that the Knight Riders made a slow start to life in the IPL. But since their first title in 2012, the team are usually a safe bet to make it out of the groups.

Notable Facts about Kolkata Knight Riders

The following statistics are up to date as of the end of IPL 2018:

Who are the owners of Kolkata Knight Riders?

The best of Bollywood is represented in the KKR boardroom and provide some familiar faces whenever the side takes to the field. Ownership is split between the actor Shahrukh Khan, actress Juhi Chawla and her spouse, Jay Mehta.

Juhi Chawla is something of an ever-present at Knight Riders games and is very expressive. If you want to know the score, just check her body language on the sidelines. You’ll know exactly how her side is performing.

Where do Kolkata Knight Riders play?

The Knight Riders play at one of the most famous grounds in the whole of India and, in the wider cricketing world. The iconic Eden Gardens is their regular home. The many noisy supporters here make KKR a strong prospect in the online cricket betting markets when they are on home turf.

Built in 1864, Eden Gardens is the oldest stadium in India. Eden Gardens’ capacity of 68,000 also makes it the largest stadium in the whole of Asia.

Kolkata Knight Riders 2019 IPL Complete Fixtures

Date/Time Match Number Opponent Home/Away Venue
Sunday, March 24th, 2019 (Afternoon) 2 Sunrisers Hyderbad Home Eden Gardens
Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 (Evening) 5 Kings XI Punjab Home Eden Gardens
Saturday, March 30th, 2019 (Evening) 10 Delhi Capitals Away Feroz Shah Kotla Ground
Friday, April 5th, 2019 (Evening) 17 Royal Bangalore Away M. Chinnaswamy

Projected 2019 Starting Line Up

This is going to be one of the hardest lineups to pick out of all the IPL teams this season. If you’re taking an IPL Satta online, 2019 needs to provide the best possible KKR line up. However, we expect a lot of rotation across the tournament.

To start off IPL 12, we would like to see the opening pair of Robin Uthappa and Chris Lynn to be settled. Joe Denly can come into the equation, but he may need to wait his turn behind those two. The pinch hitting of Sunil Narine will be considered and probably employed at times. But the fact that Uthappa and Lynn hold the record partnership for KKR says everything.

The squad looks a little light on batting in the middle order. Therefore, certain places are virtually settled. In terms of overseas players, Lynn, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell will surely start. But who comes in as the fourth import? We’re giving the vote here to Lockie Ferguson whose pace offers an ‘X Factor’. There will also be an opportunity for Harry Gurney and Carlos Brathwaite as the competition develops.

Rotation will be key. When the 2019 IPL gets underway, however, we would like to see the following starting XI.

1. Robin Uthappa
2. Chris Lynn
3. Shubman Gill
4. Nitish Rana
5. Andre Russell
6. Dinesh Karthik
7. Sunil Narine
8. Lockie Ferguson
9. Kuldeep Yadav
10. Piyush Chawla
11. Shivam Mavi

Team Strengths

The Knight Riders look to be very strong in the bowling department this year. And this is where the selectors will have the most questions to answer. This is a unit where Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Piyush Chawla, Andre Russell and Harry Gurney might walk into any IPL team. So how does everyone stay happy?

The batting is more clear cut and this should be a big strength for KKR. They have a settled side, but will need to keep their domestic players fit.

Team Weaknesses

Kolkata Knight Riders used to have the most effective opening partnership of all the IPL teams. They began to have issues, though, when they split Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir. Uthappa dropped down the order initially and his replacement Chris Lynn is a powerful, dangerous hitter. But he can be inconsistent and prone to injury. KKR also employed Sunil Narine as a pinch hitter and this worked on occasions. Asettled opening pair, however, would be our preference.

If KKR are to get back to the glory days and deliver regular profits in the online cricket betting markets, clever selection of the top order, and of the opening pair in particular, is key.

Another concern is the lack of depth among domestic players. There are plenty of experienced overseas cricketers on this roster. But is there enough cover if the likes of Uthappa, Karthik and Yadav are forced to miss out?

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