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Team Preview - Kolkata Knight Riders


Team Performance in IPL 2008

Kolkatta were being advertized as the top team after their first two wins but their act nose-dived as the series progressed.

Kolkata's performance was as erratic as their speedster, Shoaib Akhtar at times.

At times they dragged off thrilling winnings, like they did beside Punjab, scoring 70 in the last 24 balls to seal victory.

Next to Mumbai, they put the record for the lowest score in the competition, being packaged out for 67. Against Delhi, they pulled off an extraordinary victory, winning by 23 runs in spite of only scoring 133 runs - thanks to a sweltering spell from Shoaib Akhtar. Eventually, Kolkatta weren't steady enough and had to settle for sixth place.

Economically, the Knight Riders were simply the most successful charter in the IPL, get a profit of Rs. 13 crore.

Who is in, who is out

Kolkata Knight Riders was amid the least active franchises through the off season, with no player deals. However, the team signed Mohnish Parmar through the off season and also re-signed Ajantha Mendis for a long-standing deal. The most prominent personnel move for Knight Riders came during the 2009 IPL Auction, where the team signed Bangladesh all-rounder Mashrafe Mortaza. Kolkatta spent a huge 600,000 dollars at the sale for this Bangladeshi import and it will be motivating to see if Mortaza can live up to the expectations.

Kolkata will lament the loss of its Pakistan players - Umar Gul & Salman Butt - both of whom performed particularly last year. Ricky Ponting joined the roll of Australians who pulled out of the IPL due to a excited international schedule.

Players to watch out for

Sourav Ganguly: Sourav might not have the nimbleness demanded of a Twenty20 player but he showed why he is still among the best as he ended on top of the run-scoring charts for his team. He also flaked in with his gentle medium pace and ended up as the most economical bowler for his side.

Brendon McCullum: McCullum's game is perfectly matched to the Twenty20 format and his evil innings of 158 not out against Bangalore in last season is testimony to that. McCullum is coming of several good batting form in the recently series against India

Chris Gayle: Gayle exemplifies Caribbean style and his casual and no-fuss approach to batting is delight to watch. On his day, Gayle can slaughter the best of attacks, putting away even the good balls. Gayle and McCullum are potentially the most fatal opening pair in the tournament and if they can get going the mass will be in for some real entertainment.

Trivia

The duo of Vishal and Shekar, of 'Om Shanthi Om' and 'Jhankar Beats' celebrity collected the sacred song song of the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Ganguly, skipper of the Kolkata Knight Riders, was the first player to succeed back-to-back Man of the Match awards.

Ishant Sharma, who was cracked up at USD 950,000 by Kolkata Knight Riders was the majority expensive bowler at the IPL auction.

Kolkata have the record of score the lowest runs in an innings in the IPL doing so when they dismissed 67 in the match against the Mumbai Indians.

Laxmi Ratan Shukla get 3 wickets in only 5 balls he bowled against the Daredevils making him the bowler with the top strike rate in an innings.

McCullum scored 158 beside the Bangalore Royal Challengers in the first game of the IPL - the maximum individual score in a Twenty20 match.


Current Squad:

Sourav Ganguly, Ajit Agarkar, Rohan Banerjee, Sanjay Bangar, Mark Cameron (AUS), Aakash Chopra, Gaurav Chabra, Debabrata Das, Ashok Dinda, Shatrunjay Gaekwad, Chris Gayle, Moises Henriques (AUS), Brad Hodge (AUS), David Hussey (AUS), VA Indulkar, Iqbal Abdulla, Murali Karthik, Saurasish Lahiri, Charl Langeveldt (SA), Brendon McCullum (NZ), Mashrafe Mortaza (Bang), Angelo Mathews (SL), Ajantha Mendis (SL), Mohnish Parmar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Laxmi Ratan Shukla

Coach

John Buchanan (AUS)

Assistant head coach - Matthew Mott (AUS)

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