Kolkata Knight Riders Preview 2023

Kolkata Knight Riders Betting

Two-time winners the Kolkata Knight Riders can boast two or three of the very best T20 players in the world and if they all get going, a third title isn’t out of the question.

But it’s been a while since that second IPL win of theirs and some will feel that their run to the final in 2021 was slightly more by fortune than by virtue of having a brilliant team.

Shreyas Iyer was impressive as skipper of Delhi and after not being retained by the Capitals, will look to stamp his authority on this KR side after the Kolkata management showed a lot of faith in him.

As a prolific middle-order batsman and gun fielder, he’ll have his work cut out this year.

So online cricket betting odds of 11.0 look big about a team who has shown time and time again that they’re always competitive.

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Kolkata Knight Riders best odds

If you enjoy some IPL betting, then the Knight Riders at 12.0 to win the IPL is an interesting prospect.

They were runners-up last year, boast two of T20’s most explosive all-rounders in T20 cricket in West Indies duo Andre Russell and Sunil Narine and have some serious experience in other areas of the squad, including Pat Cummins, Ajinkya Rahane and Umesh Yadav.

If new skipper Shreyas Iyer can keep ut all together, they’ll be a hard nut to crack.

With KKR best odds of 12.0 at Betway, they’re an interesting prospect as a mid-priced team.


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Have Kolkata Knight Riders won the IPL before?

The Knight Riders have won this tournament twice before. In 2012, they beat Chennai Super Kings in the final, after chasing the Super Kings’ 190 with surprising ease given it was with an over to spare. Manvinder Bisla was the unlikely hero whose 89 off 48 was the difference between the two sides.

Their skipper at the time, Gautam Gambhir, ended the season on a massive 590 runs with only the great Chris Gayle scoring more than him; the West Indies star amassing a barely-believable 733 for the season.

They repeated the trick in 2014, again finishing as runners-up in the Group Stages, again winning the Qualifier 1 to make the final. This time the final was a lot closer, chasing the Punjab Kings’ big total, who posted 200, with just three balls and three wickets to spare. This time it was Manish Pandey who played the crucial knock, with 94.

In 2021 they made the final against CSK but it was very much a one-sided affair. They were chasing 193 and that proved far too many against CSK’s well-drilled unit.

Despite fifties from openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer, they were never really in the chase and ended up losing quite comfortably in the end.

KKR performance 2021

KKR’s season in 2021 was a strange one from the very beginning to the bitter end.

Under Eoin Morgan, appointed skipper halfway through the 2020 campaign, they just about sneaked their way into the Playoffs, ending the Group Stages on the same 14 points as Mumbai but progressing thanks to a slightly superior net run rate. They won exactly half of their 14 Group Stage games.

They knew they had it all to do in the Playoffs and did everything that was asked of them.

They chased RCB’s 139 with two balls to spare in the Eliminator and Delhi’s 136 with just one ball to spare in the Qualifier 2, showing their aptitude for acing chases under pressure.

But they won both those matches without the injured Andre Russell and when the final came about, they were without Dre Russ again.

This time round, CSK were just too strong, posting 193. KKR did their best but it was just too stiff a chase and they fell short.

KKR performance 2020

It was a strangely inconsistent season for them. They won exactly half their Group Games (seven out of 14) and part of the problem was that though on two occasions they won two matches in a row, they never managed three.

Halfway through the season, Karthik handed the captaincy over to Morgan but results didn’t necessarily improve. If anything, they actually won one more match under Karthik than they did with Morgan in charge.

In the end, they finished fifth, tied on 14 points with Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore but missed out on the Play-Offs due to an inferior net run rate.

Shubman Gill had a good season with the bat, scoring 440 runs including three fifties. With the ball it was Varun Chakravarthy who starred, taking 17 wickets in 13 games with an extremely impressive economy rate of 6.84.

Big money man Pat Cummins had a decent season with 12 wickets in 14 games to go with his 146 runs, but more was expected from him given his price tag and reputation.

KKR performance 2019

Andre Russell performed miracle after miracle with the bat and was duly named Player of the Tournament after striking at over 200 in scoring four fifties and winning many a game with some obscenely big hitting.

But it wasn’t quite enough and they ended up missing out on the Play-offs on net run rate.


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Kolkata Knight Riders Facts

Kolkata Knight Riders Facts

  • The franchise is highly popular owing to its celebrity owners – Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, and Jay Mehta.
  • Kolkata Knight Riders have won the IPL twice – once in 2012 and the other time in 2014.
  • KKR acquired a stake in the Caribbean Premier League team Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel in 2015, later renamed to Trinbago Knight Riders.
  • They hold the record for the largest IPL victory, beating Royal Challengers Bangalore in the very first match of the IPL 1 by 140 runs.
  • Team owner Shah Rukh Khan is controversial among IPL franchise owners. He is banned from entering the team’s dressing rooms and was also briefly banned from the Wankhede Stadium.
  • Robin Uthappa (now of CSK) was the only KKR player to have won the Orange Cap when he won it in 2014, with 660 runs.
  • Sunil Narine and Andre Russell have each won the IPL Most Valuable Player award on two occasions. Narine won it in 2012 and 2018, Russell in 2015 and 2019.

KKR Full Squad

Position Players
Batsmen: Shreyas Iyer, Alex Hales, Ajinkya Rahane, Rinku Singh, Abhijeet Tomar, Pratham Singh, Ramesh Kumar, Nitish Rana, Venkatesh Iyer
All-rounders: Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Mohammad Nabi, Aman Khan, Ankul Roy, Shivam Mavi, Chamika Karunaratne
Wicket-keepers: Sheldon Jackson, Baba Indrajith, Sam Billings
Spinners: Varun Chakravarthy
Fast Bowlers: Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Rasikh Dar, Ashok Sharma

Crown represents Captain at KKR

Captain: Shreyas Iyer 

In many ways Shreyas Iyer could be the next Virat Kohli. He likes to bat at three or four, seems suited to all formats of the game and has shown leadership qualities from a very young age.

Which is why Delhi made him captain when he was still so young.

As it happens, an injury at just the wrong time meant Rishabh Pant took over at the start of the 2021 season at the Capitals and he never got the captaincy back, also leading to him not being one of Delhi’s retained players for the 2022 campaign.

But KKR saw the value and potential of getting Iyer on board, at considerable cost.

Trophy represents Gun player at KKR

Gun player: Andre Russell

Andre Russell is probably the first T20 player you choose from any in the world if you could select just the one cricket player to join your side.

A fast bowler who bowls with pace and menace both at the top and at the death if necessary and also one of the fastest and most agile fielders in the game.

But it’s with the bat that he really earns his corn, coming in at five or six and scoring at an insanely rapid rate when in the mood.

No boundary is big enough for him and the only question is why he doesn’t often bat higher, at say four.

The big problem with Russell is fitness. Too often he breaks down during a tournament and the side are left with a massive hole to fill.

That not only happened at the back end of KKR’s 2021 IPL campaign but also for the West Indies during the 2021 T20 World Cup.

So it’s a big gamble for them to have retained Russell at great cost, but we all know what he can do when fit: change a game on its head.

Medal represents promising youngster at KKR

Promising youngster: Chamika Karunaratne

The Sri Lankan all-rounder still has some progress to be made but he’s already a useful cricketer who has represented his country in all three formats.

Quicker than he at first seems with the ball and a capable batsman in the lower-middle order, if he can just get his strike rate up with the ball and play slightly longer innings than just quick cameos, he could be a very influential player.

Reminds us a bit of former Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera, who was one of Sri Lanka’s most effective T20 players ever.

Kolkata Knight Riders Team Analysis

We’ll have to wait and see for the IPL to get under way before deciding on how good their business was over the off-season.

Getting Shreyas Iyer was an excellent move. They needed a strong leader with a good record with the bat and that’s precisely what they’re getting with him. Assuming things go well, he can lead the side for thee or four more years and give them real stability.

And aside from the captaincy, he’ll surely be a rock for them at number three, proof of which is just how well he’s progressing with India of late.

And with Vekatesh Iyer and (presumably) Aaron Finch opening, they’ll have an extremely solid Top 3, with the consistent Ntish Rana still to come.

Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy will provide eight good overs of spin a match and as we know, Eden Gardens takes spin, so they’ll be two key players for them all season, especially at home.

They also did well to buy back Pat Cummins at a fraction of his price and he’ll give them something with the bat as well as the ball. He is after all one of the top bowlers in world cricket and Australia’s Test captain.

They have a strong spine to the team

But as ever, there’s a big question mark over Andre Russell. We know what he can do but when was the last time he went a season injury-free?

Was it too much of a gamble to persist and retain a player who keeps on missing matches and is never fully fit even when he does play? Some may have felt they may have retained Lockie Ferguson instead or splashed big on a more reliable player with a better fitness record. But let’s see. If he’s finally fit, he can win any game by himself.

They don’t look like potential winners just yet but will, as ever, be hard to beat.


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A tick to represent the strengths of Kolkata Knight Riders


  • Strong and aggressive Top 4 with Iyer, Hales, Iyer and Rana.
  • Chakravarthy and Narine will provide strong spin options at Eden Gardens.
  • Good captain in Shreyas Iyer.

An X to represent the weaknesses of Kolkata Knight Riders


  • Will be sweating ovr Russell’s fitness, as usual.
  • Look light in terms of fast bowlers other than Cummins.
  • Will struggle to find a place for the impressive Sam Billings.

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