The BCCI, at the start of IPL, had a very intelligent idea. The idea was a simple one, but exceptionally effective. They intertwined the two most followed industries in India; Cricket and Bollywood. Shahrukh Khan is a synonym to Bollywood and to BCCI’s ecstasy, the King Khan of Bollywood became the owner of Kolkata Knight Riders and BCCI was like ‘Target accomplished’.
The Kolkata people obviously support Kolkata, but who have no connection with Kolkata, even started to support the team, just for their beloved Shahrukh Khan.
Know All About Kolkata Knight Riders –“Tu Fan Nahi… Toofan Hain“
How was Kolkata Knight Riders franchise formed?
The team Kolkata was bought by Shahrukh Khan’s company Red Chillies Entertainment in partnership with actress Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta for a price of $75.09 million. KKR is blessed to have a historic stadium of Eden Garden as their home ground.
IPL’s superb Kickoff; thanks to the Brendon McCullum show
The BCCI had wanted a good start to the inaugural season which would stick people to their TV screens for the next 2 months or so.
However, BCCI would not have expected the start given by a special Brendan McCullum innings. In the very first match of the first season of IPL, the Kiwi batsman scored a terrific 158 runs in 73 balls for Kolkata against RCB with 10 fours and 13 sixes.
It was a surprise, but a pleasant one. This auspicious start to the tournament took the popularity of the tournament to the next level.
Early years of Kolkata Knight Riders
They had the Bollywood superstar as their owner. Also, Kolkata had the Prince of Kolkata, Saurav Ganguly as their captain. They had Chris Gayle, Ricky Ponting, Ajit Agarkar, Ishant Sharma, and Shoaib Akhtar. The team was built around these stars. Perhaps, they never gelled up as a team. The first three seasons were utterly disappointing as they finished at the 6th,8th and 6th position respectively.
KKR’s amazing years
The disappointing season brought an end to Saurav Ganguly’s career at KKR. It was absolutely disheartening to see the Prince of Kolkata was dropped by the Kolkata franchise. Kolkata team management took some tough calls, they gave the captaincy to Gautam Gambhir who was moving to Kolkata after the stint with Delhi Daredevils(now Delhi Capitals).
In 2011, they reached the playoffs for the first time.
In 2012, Kolkata became the Champions of the IPL for the first time. Knight Riders team management believed in the Indian talent and invested in them which gave them the results they wanted. Manvinder Bisla’s calculated approach in the final chasing 191 took Kolkata Knight Riders toward their first title.
In 2014, they again became the Champions in a nail-biting final. They again chased a huge total of 200 in the final.
The lean period of Kolkata Knight Riders
The downslide started after the 2014 season. From 2015 to 2020, they had three playoffs and three occasions when they couldn’t secure the position within the top 4. Since 2014, Kolkata Knight Riders has developed a peculiar habit of faltering in the most crucial stage of the tournament.
A ‘Gambhir’ matter
After the 2017 season, Gautam Gambhir, the captain who took Knight Riders to the two titles conveyed his plan to the management that he didn’t want to continue with Kolkata after a poor run. The management didn’t force him to stay and appointed Dinesh Karthik as their new captain for 2018 and onwards.
Unluckily for Dinesh, Kolkata Knight Riders hasn’t had much success under his captaincy. Dinesh’s runs dried up under the captaincy crown. He stepped down from captaincy right in the middle of the 2020 season. Since then, Eoin Morgan has been the captain of the side. He is yet to live up to the reputation of the ‘World Cup Winning Captain’.
We wish Kolkata Knight Riders all the best for the remainder of IPL 2021.
Let’s have some Records of Kolkata Knight Riders
Highest score in power play
Chasing 159 against RCB at Chinnaswamy Stadium, Knight Riders killed the game in only the first six overs of the innings. Captain Gambhir unconventionally approached the chase and sent Chris Lynn and pinch hitter Sunil Narine for the opening slots. The gamble paid off as both took KKR to a flying start and scored 105 runs without any wicket.
105 runs in mere 36 balls, amazing, isn’t it?
A record unbeaten run
IPL doesn’t have any sort of weak team against which you can afford some relaxation. Anyone can beat anyone. In the title-winning season, despite the tough opposition, they won 10 consecutive games which is a record in the IPL. Interestingly, the 10 matches unbeaten run and the title came after 5 losses in the first 7 games.
KKR has rendered the lowest total in IPL. They bowled out RCB in the 2017 season for just 49 runs when they were chasing a simple total of 132.