Kolkata Knight Riders have managed to win the title twice in 2012 and 2014, under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir    AFP
Kolkata Knight Riders have managed to win the title twice in 2012 and 2014, under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir (third from right) AFP

The 10th edition of the much hyped, highly successful and the most lucrative Twenty20 (T20) cricket league in the world, the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017, is all set to get underway from April 5, as the the T20 spectacle has already started to sweep in. As usual, the eight teams from the previous seasons would be competing once again to stand a chance to lay their hand on the coveted trophy. With Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) being the defending champions, the other seven teams would be looking forward to make this season count for themselves, and so would be the former two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). IPL 2017 revised Schedule: Fixture, Dates, Match Timings and Venue Details

KKR have managed to win the title twice in 2012 and 2014, under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir. They are tied with two-time winners champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI). KKR would certainly be aiming to win this season, as a triumph this time would not only mean it would be their third title, but also make them the most successful side in the tournament. The side also has immense fan following around the world, as it is owned by one of the most popular and great Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. IPL Auction 2017: KKR overhauls squad, possibly along with game-plan

KKR would again be led by the Gambhir this season, while they have made minor adjustments to their side during the IPL Auction 2017. However, what has surprised the most that a possible change in gameplay strategy, which was evident with their purchases during the IPL Auction 2017. KKR were conspicuous following their number of fast-bowling purchases, which was strictly not the tradition with KKR till date. Given their home track at the historic Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata is known to be on the slower side, they had mostly relied on spinners. However, with the pacers dominating their side now, change in the home track can be expected.

KKR’s schedule for IPL 2017:

# Teams City Date Time Weekday
3 Gujarat Lions Kolkata Knight Riders Rajkot 7-Apr 8:00 PM Fri
7 Mumbai Indians Kolkata Knight Riders Mumbai 9-Apr 8:00 PM Sun
11 Kolkata Knight Riders Kings XI Punjab Kolkata 13-Apr 8:00 PM Thu
14 Kolkata Knight Riders Sunrisers Hyderabad Kolkata 15-Apr 4:00 PM Sat
18 Delhi Daredevils Kolkata Knight Riders Delhi 17-Apr 4:00 PM Mon
23 Kolkata Knight Riders Gujarat Lions Kolkata 21-Apr 8:00 PM Fri
27 Kolkata Knight Riders Royal Challengers Bangalore Kolkata 23-Apr 8:00 PM Sun
30 Rising Pune Supergiant Kolkata Knight Riders Pune 26-Apr 8:00 PM Wed
32 Kolkata Knight Riders Delhi Daredevils Kolkata 28-Apr 4:00 PM Fri
37 Sunrisers Hyderabad Kolkata Knight Riders Hyderabad 30-Apr 8:00 PM Sun
41 Kolkata Knight Riders Rising Pune Supergiant Kolkata 3-May 8:00 PM Wed
46 Royal Challengers Bangalore Kolkata Knight Riders Bengaluru 7-May 4:00 PM Sun
49 Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders Mohali 9-May 8:00 PM Tue
54 Kolkata Knight Riders Mumbai Indians Kolkata 13-May 8:00 PM Sat
57 TBD TBD TBC 16-May 8:00 PM Tue
58 TBD TBD TBC 17-May 8:00 PM Wed
59 TBD TBD TBC 19-May 8:00 PM Fri
60 TBD TBD Hyderabad 21-May 8:00 PM Sun

The complete KKR squad for IPL 2017:

Players Country Batting style Bowling style
Darren Bravo Trinidad and Tobago Left-handed Right-arm medium-fast
Ishank Jaggi India Right-handed Legbreak googly
Manish Pandey India Right-handed Right-arm off break
Robin Uthappa (wk) India Right-handed Right-arm medium
Gautam Gambhir (c) India Left-handed Right-arm leg break
Chris Lynn Australia Right-handed Slow left-arm orthodox
Suryakumar Yadav India Right-handed Right-arm medium
Chris Woakes England Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium
Andre Russell* Jamaica Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium
Yusuf Pathan India Right-handed Right-arm off break
Shakib Al Hasan Bangladesh Left-handed Slow left-arm orthodox
Rishi Dhawan India Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium
Rovman Powell Jamaica Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium
R Sanjay Yadav India Left-handed Slow left-arm orthodox
Sheldon Jackson (wk) India Right-handed
Ankit Rajpoot India Right-handed Right-arm medium-fast
Kuldeep Yadav India Left-handed Slow left-arm chinaman
Umesh Yadav India Right-handed Right-arm fast
Piyush Chawla India Left-handed Right-arm leg break
Sunil Narine Trinidad and Tobago Left-handed Right-arm off break
Trent Boult New Zealand Right-handed Left-arm fast-medium
Nathan Coulter-Nile Australia Right-handed Right-arm fast
Sayan Ghosh India Right-handed Right-arm medium

*Note: Andre Russell would be unavailable to play owing to his ongoing 1-year ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in all forms of cricket.

KKR have been one of the most consistent sides in the tournament since 2011, having finished in the top four since then. Although they were shaky for the initial three seasons of the tournament, a squad overhaul during the IPL Auction 2011 and the new skipper in the form of Gambhir has certainly made the difference for the side. They were unfortunate to have missed out on the opportunity last season, having lost to the defending champions SRH in the eliminator tie in the play-offs. However, with the new season bringing a new beginning, KKR would once again be one of the teams to be watched out for and would be of no surprise if they manage to finish in top four, and eventually go on to the final to lift the coveted trophy for the third time and become the most successful side in the tournament.