IPL 2020 Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)

Alongside Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders are the only outfit to have won the Indian Premier League on multiple occasions. They have done so twice, and both their title runs have been nothing short of impressive. 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 the team has struggled since long-serving captain Gautam Gambhir’s departure from Kolkata in 2018. Will 2020 be different and will the Knight Riders be a strong option for matka gambling in IPL 13? We will know in a few weeks!

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IPL is a great tournament to place bets on. Kolkata Knight Riders are among the most successful franchises in the event’s history, and fans and bettors alike have been treated to some good times over the years. Online cricket betting goes up a notch owing to the nature of IPL, the format and the players involved. Betting on IPL cricket is easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Choose a betting site from the list above and open an account; bonuses are available
  2. Pick your deposit option and load funds in INR; many bookmakers accept credit/debit cards, bank transfers and e-wallets
  3. Learn about betting odds and go ahead with placing your bet!

WHAT ARE THE ODDS FOR KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS TO WIN IPL 2020?

Ahead of IPL 2020, online betting oddsmaker Betway have given KKR an 8.00 shot to reclaim the title. That would make them joint fifth favourites (with Royal Challengers Bangalore). It’s the same over at Bet365, where they—together with RCB—have odds of +700. As champions in 2012 and 2014, there will be support for KKR at that price.

And since 2014, the Knight Riders have made the playoffs three times They have, however, been largely unconvincing. Losing captain Gautam Gambhir (who is now a politician) was also big factor. Nevertheless, this is a new season and they have a lot to look forward to. Cricket betting aficionados will know better than to count KKR out.

Kolkata Knight Riders

WHO ARE THE BEST KKR PLAYERS TO BET ON?

Kolkata Knight Riders have worked well as a unit: it is the proverbial well-oiled machine that has seen them lift two IPL titles. Of course, their squad also contains some star individual players.

Sunil Narine (West Indies) has played a key role with the ball—and as a pinch-hitting opener—for many years now. The fans will definitely be pleased to see the shrewd spinner back in action. Joining him is compatriot Andre Russell, the power house of an all-rounder, and Eoin Morgan (England). Holding this all together is the Dinesh Karthik, who remains a reliable run scorer, particularly in the event of a top order collapse.

The bowling department looks very strong too, with the pace of Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand) and the productive death bowling of Harry Gurney. Australian ace Pat Cummins was a star signing at the auction, so watch out for him in the top bowler markets this season.

All said therefore, Kolkata Knight Riders definitely look good for matka gambling in 2020.

HIGHEST PAID PLAYERS IN KKR

Patrick Cummins, the Australian fast bowler and currently the world’s best Test bowler, leads the way with a salary of $2.2 million. Signing the 26-year-old could well change the Kinght Riders’ fortunes as they seek to return to trophy-winning ways.

Sunil Narine is next at $1.2 million, followed by Dinesh Karthik ($1 million) and Andre Russell at a shade under a million.

KKR will be relying on this star power to come up trumps and make a strong proposition in the IPL betting markets.

KOLKATA KINGHT 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 13 have been with this franchise for many years.

IPL 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: Playoff
2012: Champion
2013: Seventh
2014: Champion
2015: Fifth
2016: Playoff
2017: Playoff
2018: Playoff
2019: Fifth

NOTABLE PLAYER MOVEMENT

The Knight Riders underwent a shake-up ahead of the IPL 2020 auction in Kolkata last December. They let go of some big names like Joe Denly, one of their key signings last season, big-hitting Chris Lynn and Carlos Brathwaite, and long-serving Piyush Chawla and Robin Uthappa.

All that meant KKR went into the auction with a purse of INR 35.65 crore, a bulk of which went into signing Pat Cummins and Eoin Morgan.

Cummins has certainly been among the bettors’ favourite in Test cricket betting and he is no slouch in the shorter formats either. Morgan, meanwhile, led England to a famous World Cup win last year and is known for his mettle with the willow too. Can the pair help KKR backers make a profit in this season’s IPL betting markets?

PROJECTED KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS PLAYING XI IN IPL 2020

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, 2020 needs to provide the best possible KKR line up.

To start off IPL 2020, we would like to see the Eoin Morgan and Sunil Narine open. The pinch hitting of Narine has proved useful in the past, especially in the Power Play.

The squad looks a little light on batting in the middle order. Therefore, certain places are virtually settled. Andre Russell and Pat Cummins should round out the four overseas slots. But who can be a reliable substitute in case of injury or national duty? Lockie Ferguson’s pace offers an ‘X Factor’, but there is no such option among batsmen barring the untested Tom Banton (England).

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

1. Eoin Morgan
2. Sunil Narine
3. Shubman Gill
4. Nitish Rana
5. Andre Russell
6. Dinesh Karthik
7. Kamlesh Nagarkoti
8. Patrick Cummins
9. Kuldeep Yadav
10. Prasidh Krishna
11. Shivam Mavi

KKR: TEAM STRENGTHS

Kolkata Knight Riders look to have a strong bowling department this year. With the likes of Ferguson and Harry Gurney waiting in the wings, they might not have to break sweat. Furthermore, Narine, Russell and Cummins are always hot picks in any cricket betting market, and especially now that its IPL satta time.

KKR: TEAM WEAKNESS

Simply put: batting seems brittle.

There was a time when Kolkata Knight Riders had the most effective opening partnership among all IPL teams. They began to have issues, though, when Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir split, with the former moving lower down the order. The pair have moved on since and that is just one aspect of KKR’s potential batting worries.

If the Knight Riders 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.

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.

WHAT IS THE HOME GROUND OF KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS?

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: FAST FACTS

The following statistics are up to date as of the end of IPL 2019:

For more IPL 2020 team previews, top players and betting odds, click below:

Chennai Super Kings | Delhi Capitals | Kings XI Punjab | Mumbai Indians | Rajasthan Royals | Royal Challengers Bangalore | Sunrisers Hyderabad