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Kolkata Knight Riders 2014: Squad, Auction Deals, Captain, Probable Team

Chris TealeFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2014

Kolkata Knight Riders 2014: Squad, Auction Deals, Captain, Probable Team

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    Gallo Images/Getty Images

    The Kolkata Knight Riders look ahead to the 2014 Indian Premier League after a poor 2013 campaign that saw them finish seventh in the table and fail to qualify for the play-offs.

    That came on the back of a 2012 season where they won their first ever IPL title, having also reached the play-off stage in 2011 for the first time in franchise history.

    A well-established side owned by Shah Rukh, Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta, the Knight Riders will be hoping for a much better showing this year.

    They have already started well off the field, assembling a strong squad containing a great deal of experienced players and some exciting youngsters that will want to take them back to the postseason.

    As part of Bleacher Report's extensive coverage of this season's Indian Premier League, this slideshow will preview the Kolkata Knight Riders’ prospects this year.

Squad

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    Gallo Images/Getty Images

    Gautam Gambhir (capt), Manvinder Bisla, Piyush Chawla, Pat Cummins, Debabrata Das, Jacques Kallis, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Lynn, Sayan Mondal, Morne Morkel, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Veer Pratap Singh, Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Robin Uthappa, Vinay Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav.

Auction

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    Gallo Images/Getty Images

    All prices in U.S. Dollars

    Jacques Kallis: $916,000
    Robin Uthappa: $833,000
    Piyush Chawla: $708,000
    Yusuf Pathan: $541,000
    Shakib Al Hasan: $466,000
    Morne Morkel: $466,000
    Ranganath Vinay Kumar: $466,000
    Umesh Yadav: $433,000
    Manish Pandey: $283,000
    Chris Lynn: $216,000
    Pat Cummins: $166,000
    Ryan ten Doeschate: $166,000
    Suryakumar Yadav: $116,000
    Manvinder Bisla: $100,000
    Andre Russell: $100,000
    Kuldeep Yadav: $66,000
    Veer Pratap Singh: $66,000
    Debabrata Das: $33,000
    SS Mandall: $16,000

    Players retained: Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine.

Rating Their Business

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    Uncredited

    Keeping Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine was superb business, with one of the most experienced and successful IPL batsmen ever joining a spinner who has shown himself to be enormously capable on subcontinent pitches.

    Beyond them, their purchases of international superstars Jacques Kallis, Shakib Al Hasan and Morne Morkel could prove to be some astute buys in the player auction.

    In addition, youngsters Pat Cummins and Chris Lynn are some intriguing purchases, while West Indian Andre Russell will be hoping to make an impact immediately despite a low price tag.

    On the domestic front, much will be expected of Robin Uthappa and Yusuf Pathan, both bought for a large amount of money in the early auction rounds.

    With Indian bowlers of the calibre of Piyush Chawla and Vinay Kumar, it could be an interesting year for the Knight Riders, who have an intriguing mix of players.

     

    Batting Strength: B

    Bowling Strength: B

Captain

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    Aijaz Rahi

    The Knight Riders will be led this year by Gautam Gambhir, who already has plenty of captaincy experience in the IPL.

    Having already led India in six One Day Internationals—and winning all six—Gambhir led the Delhi Daredevils in 2010 before being picked up by Kolkata in the 2011 auction.

    He led them to that year’s play-offs and a first appearance in the Champions League Twenty20; then in 2012 he helped them to their first ever tournament title.

    However, they were less successful under his leadership last year, so Gambhir will be hopeful of rectifying that in the 2014 edition.

Probable XI

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    Bikas Das

    Gambhir (capt), Kallis, Pathan, Uthappa, Al Hasan, Bisla (wk), Russell, Narine, Chawla, Kumar, U Yadav.

Prediction

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    Aijaz Rahi

    After such a poor defence of their trophy in 2013, the Knight Riders will be raring to go for what they hope will be a far better season this time around.

    They certainly have the experience and the firepower to make an impact, and they will be confident of a return to the play-offs after missing out last year.

    Their bowling will be key, especially how spinners like Narine and Chawla maintain control with the new ball.

    They have an experienced and highly-rated batting line-up too, and they will be desperate for their international and domestic stars to find some form.

    If they do so, the Knight Riders should be well set for a return to the play-offs, and given the sheer amount of talent they should achieve this target.

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