This article is part of our IPL Preview series.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) is one of the few Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise which attracted a huge fan base from the beginning, primarily because one of its owners is a famous Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan – also known as SRK. The franchise was bought at a staggering price of $75.09 million in the initial bidding process which took place back in 2008.
Kolkata had a slow start in the journey in the IPL as they failed to qualify for the playoffs in the first three campaigns. The franchise finally took off in the fourth edition but lost to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Eliminator. In the following year, Kolkata went on to secure their maiden IPL title with a memorable chase against CSK. Just two years later, KKR went on to secure their second title but since then, have not been able to qualify for the final. In the previous edition, Kolkata qualified for the playoffs where they suffered defeat in the second qualifier against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
In this edition, the team will be led by India's wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik, who will have the coaching assistance of former South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis. By the look of the team's composition, there will be a lot of reliance on the all-rounders with the likes of West Indies' trio of Sunil Narine, Carlos Brathwaite, Andre Russell, England's Joe Denly and India's Piyush Chawla in the squad, all of whom can contribute with both bat and ball.
On the batting front, the team will have the services of local players like captain Karthik, veteran Robin Uthappa and young Nitish Rana alongside Australia's Chris Lynn, whereas on the bowling front, the team management will rely on the likes of New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson, England's Harry Gurney and India's Kuldeep Yadav.
KKR's highest team score of 245-6 came in the match against Kings XI Punjab in the previous edition, whereas highest team score of 219-4 against KKR was registered by Delhi Daredevils in the 2018 edition. KKR's lowest score of 67 came in the match against Mumbai Indians, whereas lowest team score against Kolkata of 49 was registered by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). KKR's biggest win in terms of runs came in the match against RCB where they ended up victorious by 140 runs, whereas their biggest defeat came in the match against Mumbai Indians, where they were thrashed by 102 runs.
Highest individual score of 158 not out for KKR in a single innings was registered by former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, which came in the very first match of the IPL while playing against RCB, whereas highest individual score against KKR of 126 was registered by Australia's David Warner while representing Sunrisers Hyderabad. Right-hander Uthappa holds the record for most runs (660) in a single season for the franchise which he achieved in 2014, whereas former Indian opening batsman Gautam Gambhir holds the record for scoring most runs for the franchise (3,345) in the IPL history. Best bowling figures of 5-19 for KKR was registered by Narine in the match against Punjab in 2012, whereas he also holds the record for most wickets in a single season (24) and most wickets (130) overall for the franchise in the IPL history.