KKR in IPL 2024: Team preview, full squad, predicted XI and impact players for Kolkata Knight Riders

KKR in IPL 2024: Team preview

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) struggled in the first 3 seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as they failed to go beyond the league stage. In 2011, the Men in Gold and Purple roped in Gautam Gambhir as their skipper and it changed their complexion. In his maiden season as captain, he took the Knights to the playoffs and from there on KKR went from strength to strength.

In 2012 and 2014, Gambhir made KKR champions with wins over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Punjab Kings in the finals respectively. Under Gambhir, the likes of Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Robin Uthappa showed a whole lot of consistency. Before the 2018 edition, Gambhir left KKR and played a season for Delhi before retiring from all forms of cricket.

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After Gambhir left, KKR had Dinesh Karthik, Nitish Rana, and Shreyas Iyer as their skipper. But none of them had the impact that Gambhir had. Gambhir, in the meantime, is back with the Knights, this time as a mentor. Given his familiarity with the Kolkata franchise, it should not raise eyebrows if he pulls off something spectacular.

After playing in the IPL final back in 2021, the Knights failed to perform consistently in the last 2 seasons. With a strong fanbase behind them, they will be looking to put their best foot forward in the upcoming edition of the T20 league.

KKR in IPL 2024 Kolkata Knight Riders
Photo by Icon sport

In the auction, the Knights bought KS Bharat, Mitchell Starc, Chetan Sakariya, Angkrish Raghuvanshi, Ramandeep Singh, Sherfane Rutherford, Manish Pandey, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Gus Atkinson and Sakib Hussain.

Earlier, the Knights did not retain the Bangladesh duo of Shakib Al Hasan and Litton Das, Aarya Desai, David Wiese, Narayan Jagadeesan, Aarya Desai, Shardul Thakur, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Mandeep Singh, and Johnson Charles.

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Full KKR squad for IPL 2024

The Knights made history in the auction after they shelled out Australian pacer Mitchell Starc for INR 24.75, the highest in IPL. Pandey returned to KKR after playing match-winning knocks for them in previous seasons. Mujeeb Ur Rahman adds strength to their spin attack, which also has the likes of Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine and Suyash Sharma.

KKR squad

KS Bharat, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Shreyas Iyer, Jason Roy, Rinku Singh, Angkrish Raghuvanshi, Sherfane Rutherford, Manish Pandey, Andre Russell, Nitish Rana, Venkatesh Iyer, Anukul Roy, Ramandeep Singh, Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine, Vaibhav Arora, Chetan Sakariya, Harshit Rana, Suyash Sharma, Mitchell Starc, Dushmantha Chameera, Sakib Hussain, Mujeeb Ur Rahman


  • World class spinners

The Knight Riders have some exceptional spinners in their ranks. Sunil Narine, Chakravarthy, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Suyash Sharma are good enough to make batters struggle.

  • Power hitters of the highest order

The Knight Riders have some of the best power-hitters in world cricket. Jason Roy, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Andre Russell and Sherfane Rutherford can tear apart the best bowling attacks.

  •   Rinku Singh’s meteoric rise as a finisher  

Rinku Singh brings a lot of value to the Knight Riders’ batting lineup. After how he played last season, he has become an indispensable member of the team.


  •    No backup for Rahmanullah Gurbaz

The Knights do not have a backup for Rahmanullah Gurbaz after they released Litton Das. If Gurbaz gets injured, KKR may find themselves in trouble with the wicketkeeper’s slot.

  • Andre Russell’s backup missing

Andre Russell is a dangerous customer to deal with, but that he is prone to injuries cannot be denied by any means.

  •    Inexperienced pacers  

Apart from Mitchell Starc, KKR do not have an experienced pacer in their ranks. Vaibhav Arora and Chetan Sakariya are talented, but can go for runs as well.

KKR Predicted XI

1. Rahmanullah Gurbaz

2. Venkatesh Iyer

3. Shreyas Iyer

4. Nitish Rana

5. Rinku Singh

6. Andre Russell

7. Sunil Narine

8. Mitchell Starc  

9. Chetan Sakariya

10. Varun Chakravarthy

11. Vaibhav Arora

Impact player options for KKR

Mujeeb Ur Rahman can be a handy Impact Player for the Knight Riders this season. With KKR having some quality cricketers, the Afghanistan spinner may not be in the starting XI right from the word go. However, the 2-time IPL champions can make use of him on pitches, which are conducive to spin bowling.

Sherfane Rutherford is another cricketer KKR can use as an Impact Player. If KKR need batting depth, they can rope in the left-handed batter, who can do serious damage when in full flow. The likes of Ramandeep Singh and Anukul Roy can also be handy options as Impact Players. Ramandeep was a part of the Mumbai Indians before making a move to KKR.

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Season prediction

The Knight Riders go into most seasons of the IPL with loads of expectations on their shoulders. It was Gambhir, who helped them make a name for themselves with his tactical acumen on the field. The veteran will be looking to help the Knights regain their lost pride.

Although in a different role altogether, Gambhir is expected to have a positive impact on the team. They did not make it through to the playoffs last 2 times, and here lies a golden chance for them to make amends. KKR have the skills and firepower to go through to the next round.

However, injuries to key players can halt their progress as they lack backups. Earlier, KKR roped in Sri Lankan pacer Dushmantha Chameera in place of English speedster Gus Atkinson. Chameera, himself, was injured as he did not take part in the T20I series against Afghanistan.

The Knights also made a smart decision of bringing in Jason Roy, who was effective for them at the top of the order. Vaibhav Arora, at the latter stages of last season, showed that he has the potential to rattle the world’s best with his genuine pace.

While the issues with backups remain, KKR do have players with whom they can form a strong XI. If their players stay fit, they will advance to at least the playoffs given the strength of their squad.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India