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Image Design: Jyoti Desale

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) come into the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 as defending champions. Led by discarded Indian opening batsman Gautam Gambhir, KKR is one of the most flamboyant teams in the league. KKR defeated Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in last season’s final to lift the trophy for the second second time, having won it earlier in 2012 edition. Also Read- Full List of Players bought by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Team for IPL 2015: IPL 8 Players Auction.

Team Composition: Barring fast bowler Umesh Yadav, there is no player present in KKR line-up who is part of current Indian One-Day International (ODI) set-up. Among the foreign player’s in the side, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hassan, Andre Rusell, Morne Morkel and Pat Cummins are the only players active in international cricket. Mystery spinner Sunil Narine has been a vital cog in the KKR bowling department. His absence was felt in the Champions League (CL T20) 2014 against Chennai Super Kings, which KKR lost.Narine was banned from bowling just before the finals and he still awaits clearance from BCCI.

Captain Gambhir and Robin Uthappa are the two batting stalwarts in KKR camp. The batting line up boasts of Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan and Suryakumar Yadav, with latter two stacking up as finishers. KKR surprised everyone in this year’s auction by picking unknown spinner KC Cariappa, tipped to be next mystery spinner, for a whopping 2.4 Crore Rs. Other than him, Piyush Chawla, who performed exceedingly well last season, is another spinner KKR will be banking upon. Umesh and Morkel look set to lead the bowling attack while Cummins offers an ideal third bowling option. Overall, the team misses on a premier international name in batting. Also Watch- Indian Premier League 2015 Promo: ‘India ka Tyohaar’ Sony SIX Pepsi IPL 8 ad.

Star Player: Last year’s Orange Cap holder Robin Uthappa is the one player to watch out for in KKR camp. His form, after being promoted up the order, was instrumental in taking KKR forward last year. Uthappa has the quality to play both aggressive and waiting game, making him a dangerous batsman in the league.

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Prediction: KKR have been an unpredictable side and like last year, they may surprise everyone by lifting the title yet again. But, by the looks of it the side will do well if they make it to the playoffs. Check Out: IPL 2015 Schedule – All Match Fixtures and Complete Time Table of IPL.

Squad-

Domestic Players: Gautam Gambhir (c), Robin Uthappa (wk), Piyush Chawla, Yusuf Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Veer Pratap Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Aditya Garhwal, KC Cariappa, Vaibhav Rawal, Sumit Narwal, Sheldon Jackson.

Foreign Players: Azhar Mahmood, Pat Cummins, Ryan ten Doeschate, Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hassan, Morne Morkel, Johan Botha, Brad Hogg, Sunil Narine (subject to clearance from BCCI).