Kolkata Knight Riders have somehow found their lost momentum and are now back on track in the race of IPL trophy. Though they made it to the top 4, they haven’t had the best season as a complete unit. Kolkata Knight Riders had their share of successes and failures but in the end, they found the winning combinations and struck the right chords at the right moment.
They will be taking on the mighty Rajasthan Royals in the Eliminator match at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Rajasthan Royals has been one lucky team to have reaped in the services of their explosive wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler before his departure from the team for the national duty. Stokes as well left the tournament in between.
With Stokes and Buttler now out of the picture, KKR might have an edge over the Rajasthan Royals keeping in mind their scarcity of experienced players. Still, one can’t predict as to who takes up the mantle from their side and takes on the fight against KKR.
Let’s have a look at the SWOT analysis of Kolkata Knight Riders before they appear for their faceoff against Rajasthan Royals
Dinesh Karthik may not be the best captain for KKR, still his knocks while chasing under intimidating situations garnered him praise from the fans this season. Slowly and steadily he has risen and evolved as a captain the team can rely on when the situation calls.
Openers Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine have been sensational with the bat and were instrumental in getting KKR to flyer starts. They have been consistent throughout the season in smashing the opponent bowlers across the park and will be expected to continue their golden run in the playoffs as well.
And then there are players like Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav backed by Sunil Narine to spin the game away from the Rajasthan Royals. The trio has yet again been terrific in puzzling the batsmen, deceiving and tempting them to go for slog shots which gives the KKR much-needed breakthrough.
Their fast bowling has been a concern throughout the season, something that needs to be addressed quickly. In 14 games, Tom Curran and Mitchell Johnson haven’t contributed any match winning performances. Shubham Mavi also hasn’t yet found the right line and length to get the wickets flowing for KKR.
Prasidh Krishna has been able to put up a decent show for KKR but the remaining bowling still remains a concern that can get them knocked out from the eliminator.
KKR’s ability to work on their weaknesses is something worth applauding. Their 100 run loss against Mumbai Indians at a crucial moment, followed by consecutive victories and finishing off at the 3rd position in the points table got Dinesh Karthik the praise from the fans as well from the franchise owner.
Robin Uthappa is yet to deliver a match-winning performance for KKR. Back in 2014, he had emerged as the leading run scorer of the tournament and played a key role in KKR lifting the trophy that season. He has always been a man of big occasions for KKR. He will have to replicate his IPL 2014 performances in this edition as well.
One threat that has haunted KKR throughout the season. They haven’t found their 4th overseas player to play out some important knocks for the team with the bat or with the ball. Though Rajasthan Royals seem to have lost their 2 key overseas players, a loss can seriously hurt KKR at this stage that too in front of their home crowd at Eden Gardens.
Dinesh will have to address this issue before it gets too late for them. They wouldn’t want to commit any mistakes especially now when it is all or nothing for them.