IPL 2012 April 1, 2012

Time for Kolkata to make bigger leap

  shares 139

Big picture

They have one of the world's fastest bowlers (Brett Lee); they have the most destructive batsman behind Chris Gayle in world cricket (Brendon McCullum); they have the most dependable batsman in all formats (Jacques Kallis); they have the world's best allrounder in ODIs (Shakib Al Hasan). And they are one of the most popular teams in the IPL, run by owners who rarely intrude on the team management. Probably, Kolkata are most balanced team in the IPL.

After the controversies and shenanigans in the initial years involving Sourav Ganguly's stubbornness and John Buchannan's radical coaching methods, Kolkata appeared more settled last year with a new captain in Gautam Gambhir. Dav Whatmore has left to coach Pakistan, and a fellow Australian Trevor Bayliss has come in as replacement. Rudi Webster has been hired as a mental skills coach to help youngsters in dealing with high-pressure situations that are frequent in the Twenty20 format. Essentially Kolkata possess the perfect package which could help them progress from the fourth position - their best in the IPL - they finished at last season. The time has come for Kolkata to shed the pretender's role.

Probably they can learn from Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, the state where the franchise has its home base. Banerjee is known for her ruthlessness, her radical decision-making and her daring - qualities that the team can imbibe if it wants to win the title.

Key players

Jacques Kallis: Consider this: Graeme Smith is South Africa's top run-maker in Twenty20 internationals with 982 runs in 33 matches. Kallis has played half that number (17) but already has 573 runs. In fact, Kallis has more fifties in all-time Twenty20 history barring Brad Hodge - 23 against Hodge's 29. After the franchise bought him at the auction last year, Kallis repaid the owners by finishing as the team's highest run-maker. At 36, Kallis plays with the hunger of a rookie. His durability at the top of the order, his gift to combine patience with aggression, along with his nifty medium-fast bowling, make Kallis not only a go-to man but also one of the most dangerous players.

Gautam Gambhir: Gambhir's Test career as an opener might be facing a crisis, but in the shorter formats Gambhir is a force to reckon with and is India's top scorer in Twenty20 internationals. Last year, Gambhir was uncertain about opening along with Kallis, and might face the same problem with the inclusion of Brendon McCullum, but he could be the perfect No.3, a position from where he can not only anchor the innings and give it a right direction for the big-hitters to flourish at the end. The stakes are high for Gambhir: after being deposed as India vice-captain, he would like to let his performances catapult him back into the leadership role.

Yusuf Pathan: The IPL website has an illustration depicting Yusuf diving forward to take a catch while a banner floating on his back reads Pathan Palkhi (the Pathan palanquin). Indeed, Yusuf's broad shoulders and broad bat can carry his team's burden without breaking much sweat. But last year, Yusuf's influence was barely visible considering he would walk in at the fag end of the innings. He was then out of the Indian team due to poor form. Just like Gambhir, it is redemption time for Yusuf - to come out and play the role of the impact player and elevate himself back into the national reckoning.

Big names in

Brendon McCullum: It was McCullum who lit the IPL dynamite in 2008 with a blitzkrieg century (158 not out) in the tournament's inaugural match in Bangalore. He was bought by the now defunct Kochi franchise last year, but McCullum - Twenty20 international cricket's highest scorer (in fact he is the third highest run-getter in Twenty20 history) - is back to Kolkata and is likely to double up as a wicketkeeper in addition to walking in as an opener.

Trevor Bayliss (coach): Bayliss was Sri Lanka's coach in the 2011 World Cup when the team lost in the final to India and has replaced fellow Australian Dav Whatmore, who is now Pakistan's coach. Unlike the previous two Australian coaches with Kolkata, Bayliss' strengths are he remains low-key and virtually inconspicuous in the media. That way he can put in all his energies into the cricket, allowing players to make the headlines.

Big names out

There remains a question mark over the availability of Australia wicketkeeper batsman Brad Haddin, who has decided to take time off cricket to resolve some personal issues.

Below the radar

Sunil Narine Sunil Narine turned heads last year when he came to India with the Trinidad & Tobago to play in the Champions League Twenty20. The talent, the trickery in his offspin made coaches and teams wanting him on their roaster. Kolkata paid a handsome $700,000 to buy Narine in a stiff competition with rival franchises. Narine, who bowled impressively under pressure in the two Powerplays in his debut ODI against India last year in Ahmedabad (the only match West Indies won on their tour), finished as the highest wicket-taker in the recent drawn ODI series at home against Australia. Kolkata would hope Narine brings his current form against Australia to the IPL when he lands in May.

Iqbal Abdulla Abdulla won the IPL award for the best young bowler with his allround skills. A left-arm spinner, Abdulla was utilised smartly by Gambhir during pressure situations and the Mumbai player did not disappoint. Coupled with his good fielding and thrifty batting skills, Abdulla can once again play a leading role for Kolkata.

Availability

The only problem for Narine could be his availability with the first half of the IPL clashing with West Indies' Test series against Australia.

2011 in a tweet

New beginning, new energy, but fell painfully short of a top-3 slot

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • LoveT20 on April 4, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    By the time KKR first few matches are completed, the player who everyone would mostly be talking about wont be Kallis or Lee or Shakib or McCallum or Yusuf or Gambhir...it would be NARINE!!! And yes, he's that good:)

  • on April 4, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    Good luck KKR............................................

  • on April 4, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    dependable batsmen in this time sakib all hasan KKR

  • class9ryan on April 4, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    My picks - 1. Kallis 2. McCullum 3. Gambhir 4. Manoj Tiwary 5. Yusuf 6. Shakib 7. Laxmi / Bisla / Sangwan 8. Rajat Bhatia 9. Abdullah 10. Lee / Narine / Pattinson 11. Balaji

  • on April 3, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    sakib is best player in k.k.R he is good form now. i think k.k.R is the best time this time. Best of luck

  • on April 3, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    My Pick For KKR :- 1. Kallis 2. Gambhir 3. Ten Deoschate / Morgan / Mc.Cullum 4. Tiwari 5. Y. Pathan 6. Sakib Al Hasan 7. Laxmi 8. Bisla(if Mc.Cullum is not playing) / Bhatia / Sangwan 9. Abdullah 10. Marchant de Lange / Pattinson / Naraine 11. Unadkat / Balaji /Sangwan

  • subbaraogaru on April 3, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    KKR to rock this season with superb team ... my choice of playing eleven is .... Gautam Gambhir, Brendon McCullum, Jacques Kallis, Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Laxmi Shukla, Rajat Bhatia, Jaydev Unadkat, Marchant de Lange, Lakshmipathy Balaji

  • Mayan_Mahbub on April 3, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    Poor article.... Surprised of not mentioning the name of Shakib, Rayan and Tiwary....

  • Shamim_araf on April 3, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    @Bl33DBLlu3 - i think u have not any knowledge of world cricket.that's why u can comment about world's best all rounder of ODI & TEST pattern.He will b no-1 all rounder in T20 also.so ur comments show that how much poor u r about cricket knowledge.1st gain knowledge & then comment.KKR is very lucky that they have a fighter like Shakib Al Hasan.

  • muski on April 3, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    For all the passion which SRK has for his team, it is not going anywhere. For a change, please change your Jersey guys. You look more like Gladiators rather than cricketers. Yusuf is a good money going to bad pockets. SRK will learn soon. Gambhir and King Kallis will blow hot and cold. Bret Lee is a spent force and the only thing he is capable of doing is sledging whille appearing to be smiling. I would be a miracle if they manage to get into the last 4. Atleast for SRK's sake all the best and hope you do well.

  • LoveT20 on April 4, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    By the time KKR first few matches are completed, the player who everyone would mostly be talking about wont be Kallis or Lee or Shakib or McCallum or Yusuf or Gambhir...it would be NARINE!!! And yes, he's that good:)

  • on April 4, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    Good luck KKR............................................

  • on April 4, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    dependable batsmen in this time sakib all hasan KKR

  • class9ryan on April 4, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    My picks - 1. Kallis 2. McCullum 3. Gambhir 4. Manoj Tiwary 5. Yusuf 6. Shakib 7. Laxmi / Bisla / Sangwan 8. Rajat Bhatia 9. Abdullah 10. Lee / Narine / Pattinson 11. Balaji

  • on April 3, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    sakib is best player in k.k.R he is good form now. i think k.k.R is the best time this time. Best of luck

  • on April 3, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    My Pick For KKR :- 1. Kallis 2. Gambhir 3. Ten Deoschate / Morgan / Mc.Cullum 4. Tiwari 5. Y. Pathan 6. Sakib Al Hasan 7. Laxmi 8. Bisla(if Mc.Cullum is not playing) / Bhatia / Sangwan 9. Abdullah 10. Marchant de Lange / Pattinson / Naraine 11. Unadkat / Balaji /Sangwan

  • subbaraogaru on April 3, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    KKR to rock this season with superb team ... my choice of playing eleven is .... Gautam Gambhir, Brendon McCullum, Jacques Kallis, Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Laxmi Shukla, Rajat Bhatia, Jaydev Unadkat, Marchant de Lange, Lakshmipathy Balaji

  • Mayan_Mahbub on April 3, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    Poor article.... Surprised of not mentioning the name of Shakib, Rayan and Tiwary....

  • Shamim_araf on April 3, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    @Bl33DBLlu3 - i think u have not any knowledge of world cricket.that's why u can comment about world's best all rounder of ODI & TEST pattern.He will b no-1 all rounder in T20 also.so ur comments show that how much poor u r about cricket knowledge.1st gain knowledge & then comment.KKR is very lucky that they have a fighter like Shakib Al Hasan.

  • muski on April 3, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    For all the passion which SRK has for his team, it is not going anywhere. For a change, please change your Jersey guys. You look more like Gladiators rather than cricketers. Yusuf is a good money going to bad pockets. SRK will learn soon. Gambhir and King Kallis will blow hot and cold. Bret Lee is a spent force and the only thing he is capable of doing is sledging whille appearing to be smiling. I would be a miracle if they manage to get into the last 4. Atleast for SRK's sake all the best and hope you do well.

  • on April 3, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    who cares????? cricinfo should not give this much imporrtance to ipl if they are genuine about their concern about test cricket..please publish

  • Tiger2510 on April 3, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    @ Dragon_Fighters - Do you have any idea as to when DLF IPL Fantasy League will start or there will not be any this season ? I Played the fantasy league last year, it was quite fun !! Would Love To play Again !! ANYONE KNOW IF THERE WILL BE ANY IPL FANTASY LEAGUE THIS YEAR ?

  • Dragon_Fighters on April 3, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    we need fantasy cricket. please start the fantasy back :)

  • CookiesCrackers on April 3, 2012, 3:08 GMT

    KKR will rock this time. They seem to underutilized the potentials of Shakib in earlier seasons. I am sure this time that will not be the case. I will be looking forward to watch sparkling performances of Gambhir, Tiwari, Kallis, Shakib and Y/PATHAN. Balaji, please use a more of your brains this time while bowling death overs.

  • Cpt.Meanster on April 2, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    I seriously think KKR has a decent chance to make it to the final 4 yet again. They have some impact players in the team. For me, Shakib must play in all the 16 games unless he's injured. There is no better all-rounder in sub-continental conditions than him plus he's in good form. Also, Gautam Gambir should open the innings with Kallis. Tiwary should be no.3 and Yusuf Pathan should bat at no.4. The rest of the team can be shuffled depending on pitch conditions.

  • LEOFURQAN86 on April 2, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    All IPL Teams without Pakistani Stars are incompleted and also IPL Charm without Pakistani stars going down and so many fans of pakistani players didn't watch the IPL because there is no Pakistani Star and without them IPL missing so many fans and Publicity

  • Pablo123 on April 2, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    Any side with Jaques Kallis in it, always has a chance. The man is so dependable. Remember 2 years ago with Banglahore when he made a 50 in every one of his first 5 matches........ incredible player.

  • on April 2, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    macckulam(wk/bst) kalis(responsable) sakib(all) david hussy(all)

  • coverdrive86 on April 2, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    I think under Gambhir's leadership KKR is now settling in. They showed that by reaching the highest position ever in their IPL history last season. He is a very capable captain and most of all he has players under him whom we might call pressure players including himself, Lee and Kallis. I'm not sure about Yusuf being part of the team. I am yet to see what some people boost about him. Kallis, Lee and Gauti is the backbone of KKR. Also I can't wait to see Narine if he plays. He has potential to be the best bowler in IPL for a long time. Hope he concentrates long and work hard at his game.

  • anshu.s on April 2, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    @ srikrishsri - Take a hike mate,you go ahead n boycott IPL or stage protest march,sit on a hunger strike but we will go ahead n enjoy IPL .IPL is greately helping Indian cricket as it is providing platform /coverage n employment to all those cricketers who can't play for India.One shoudn't be confusing Indian cricket only with Indian national team.Btw Australia n South Africa have accepted professional 20-20 leagues long time back,even poster boy of purist/traditionalists Michael Clarke would be playing in the IPL this year.If 50 days of IPL is giving you so much bother what would happen if franchises also form there own test teams n 50 over teams.IPL has global appeal as one can see lot of my Bangladeshi brothers supporting KKR n Pune team on this forum.I love international cricket but i also like my IPL.

  • on April 2, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    @Bl33dBLu3: sakib is one of the best performer of KKR in last year. compare with previous year record of kkr..........

  • on April 2, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    I would like to see Chirag getting a chance ;)

  • Jawwad123 on April 2, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    I completely agree with SomeoneStoleMyLung above! Shakib's been awarded player of the tournament of both BPL and Asia Cup. He's already the no.1 allrounder and has performed whenever Bangladesh has required wickets and runs!! What else does he have to do to earn a noteworthy mention. It's an insult to him and BD cricket!!!!!

  • Bl33dBLu3 on April 2, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    @ sagnik u say manoj and kallis plays well But dont forget mumbai have rohit sharma and dinesh karthik and in overseas players they have much better players den kkr

  • on April 2, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    I'm confused. Kallis, binga, McCullam r setto play almost every game. & shakib has to fi8 with morgan, Tendo, naraine forthe 4th spot. Bt my best eleven for the first match. 1. Kallis 2. McCullum 3. Gauti 4. Manoj 5. Yusuf 6. Shakib 7. Bisla/Shukla 8. I. Abdullah 9. Binga 10. Balaji/Bhatia 11. Unadkat

  • srikrishsri on April 2, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    hey guys... think for a while.., we were beaten like anything in australia, england and even failed to make it to the asia cup... Should we seriously watch our clubs play cricket forgetting the fact that we are losing players due to IPL.. Starting from dhoni to ravindra jadeja, everyone wants to be fit for IPL no matter what and how they perform for the country... Atleast, let us be wise this time., i am sure IPL is not going to help Indian cricket in any way... let us try to boycott this season of IPL as much as we can.. Spread this message.. Lets make our rich players play primarily for INDIA, its only in our hands or we will shortly lose the game for the clubs they play for... Winning IPL will be of high priority rather than ASIA CUP.. Let us learn from aussies, lets learn for SA cricketers... and even the common man there.. I am sure even they wont accept this format.. IPL 5 should be a UTTER FAILURE, even IPL 4 was not of much success... Lets boycott this season of IPL...

  • Baundele on April 2, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    You can never select the best 4 out of 10 top quality foreign players. KKR loses it there. About 5 or 6 are more than enough.

  • SomeoneStoleMyLungi on April 2, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    Why no mention about Shakib? What else does Shakib have to do to get a noteworthy mention? After all he is the best allrounder in the world in both odi's and test. 3 man of the series awards in the row. And still he gets no mention about his class? I always knew indians disliked bangladeshi's...

  • on April 2, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    at Bl33dBLu3.....KKr is d most balanced team...correct....nd leave Mumbai....they only players who can't perform in big stage....nd lacks in youth players....Pragyan Ojha gets a gr8 beating frm d left handed batsmen nd R.P. Singh...He's out of the Indian team 4 quite a few yrs....only Sachin is still playing well....bt Rayudu nd Franklin can play well if u compare them 2 Manoj nd Kallis...they r lagging far behind..

  • Bl33dBLu3 on April 2, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    Kolkata most balanced team :O Mumbai,chennai,delhi are much better team and mumbai have much depth in squad

    Sakib key player ??? I dont think he will find place in 11 bcz kallis,lee,McCullum,doschete,morgan,etc are much better

  • on April 2, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    Some of the guys are really in good form and if they play their average they can easily qualify for the play-offs. Their key player as always will be Kallis.

  • class9ryan on April 2, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    KKR is 1 of d best teams in this year's IPL. They really have a very balancd line-up with good mix of domestic players and outstanding international players- Kallis, Morgan, McCullum, Shakib and Lee. All of them have been match winners for their countries............... Really looking 4 Shakib & Brendon 2 make a mark this year !!!!!!!

  • on April 2, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    @FAHIM22. IF anyone plays so like Kallis, I think it will also be difficult to out SHAKIB,Gambhir and Monoz Tiwary.

  • on April 2, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    I CAN SEE BPL ONLY PLAY SAKIB ALL HASSAN . SAKIB IS A GRID PLAYER OF ALL FORMATS.SAKIB ALSO KEY PLAYER.I WISH GOOD LUKE KKR?

  • spinkingKK on April 2, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    I don't understand on what basis one can say that one IPL team is champions and the other is preteners or whatever. When the personnel changes every season, the team which was Kolkatta will look like the Deccan chargers of previous year and Chennai might look like Mumbai Indians of two years ago etc. I don't get the idea of team loyalty by the fans either. These teams are made up of a bunch of players who are getting sold in an Auction like an antique piece or a work of art. The fans will have to keep moving their team followings according to which franchise was willing to play their favorite players.

  • ankit_66 on April 2, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    where"S ryan ten..d netherland player..he is proven player..do these guys make impact player on nationality

  • on April 2, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    In three seasons 2008-2009-2010) both Ganguly and McCullum played for KKR, post-prime Ganguly had at least 6 match-winning performances (four MOM and two "denied" MOM) compared to peak-of-his-career McCullum's 1 (the first match of the history of IPL). How could, on earth, McCullum be a worthier buy than Ganguly?

    Cricinfo wont publish it this time, either.

  • on April 2, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    Shami Ahmad will make an impact.Indian team need two Ahmads..Shami & Abu Nechim...Pradeep Sangwan is a good bowler then B Kumar of Pune will be the bowlers going to step in to the Indian team form this year IPL.KKR shuld try sourashtra bowler Chirag Jani,he is hard hitter also..

  • Micky.Panda on April 2, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    Yes Kallis has made a lot of 50s in T20 cricket, but what percentage of those games were won? Yes he is not the whole team, but a high score with only a moderate run rate puts too much pressure on the rest of the team, and games are often lost. A run-rate of 120 is the just pass mark, unless your opponents already made a low score. Is Kallis for the team?

  • fahim22 on April 2, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    @tawfiqchowdhury listen mate it useful 2 have some1 who always anchors the innings if it wasnt for kallis kkr woudnt hav made it 2 the knockout stages in ipl4......having said that GO SHAKIB GO SHOW THE POWER OF UR BATTING BEDAZZLE THEM WITH UR BOWLING DEFEAT THEM WITH UR ALLROUND SKILLS.

  • on April 2, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    Come on people. They have the number one associate allrounder. Ryan Ten Doeschate. He's nothing short of a miracle man, so please don't avoid mentioning him.

  • fr600 on April 2, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    Don't write anything that comes to your mind. These are not facts but opinion. Opinion of one person where there're millions of them. This is one kind of yellow journalism.

  • riajraju on April 2, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    Why not Shakib al-hasan in the key players list? It's funny..

  • MarufHhossain on April 2, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    who was write this article ? he have not more knowledge in cricket. SHAKIB IS NOT KEY PLAYER ? HOW FUNNY I THINK NOT ONLY SHAKIB IS THE TOP KEY PLAYER OF KKR BUT ALSO HE IS THE KEY PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT.

  • on April 2, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    From where Chris Gayle came in the team?

  • on April 2, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    KKR is My Favorite Team This year Though I m from Chennai :) We Have Quality Versatile All-Rounders of International Crickets ( Likes of Shakib Al Hasan , Jaques Kallis, Yusuf Pathan) And Quality domestic All- Rounder Iqbal Abdullah, Rajat Bhatia, Shukla.... World's most destructive Batmen ( Likes of Pathan and Mc cullam ) ...

    Though we dont have Star players We have quality mix....

    SRK.. dont worry... Pathan, Kallis, Shakib, Iqbal, Mc cullam and Gauthi gonna lift you the trophy for u this :)

  • on April 2, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    U missed some important players

    tendoeschate

    tiwary

    they both r important

    in last year also kkr failed to utilize tendoeschate all-round skills

    according to my view better to give chance another foreign player instead of kallis Bcoz already we've gambhir for anchor role . .

  • on April 2, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    It will help that the Knight Riders have a more settled and experienced outfit this time.

  • LEOFURQAN86 on April 2, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    Gud Article but without Pakistani Stars Players IPL out of charm and very boring Pakistani player are heart of every league in the world without them we didn c boring IPL

  • on April 2, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    that is great hehheheheheheheheheheheheehehehehehehehehehe

  • RhythmMithuSports on April 2, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    who was the writer of this article? what is mean the key players? why not shakib al-hasan in the key players list? For Shakib the present world no.1 all-rounder in ODI & Test, you are a real Champ.... lots of the people believe you are the key player in field.. No need sea who said what.....Good luck Shakib....GoodnLuck Shahrukh Khan's...... Good Luck KolKata..

  • sjdravid on April 2, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    where is fantasy.........i want ipl fantasy back

  • mondalm on April 2, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    @ anandodhara , why do you think kkr is playing against their interest! i am bangladeshi too and support bangladesh whole heartedly. but really, mashrafe was at his top form! remember what he did on the match he played? you are not saying shakib is the best player in world cricket, are you? same to all other bangladeshi supporters.

  • on April 2, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    I do not understand why people praise Kallis.What is his STRIKE RATE?In every matches, he scored around 30-40 with a strike rate of 100-102.Any player can score runs consistently with this slow pace.

  • M_Rakibul_Islam on April 2, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    After watching at a Glance, I thought LEE, SHAKIB, TIWARY were missing. But the found 1st 2 in 1st para of Article but Tiwary was missing. LEE & SHAKIB have a larger role but not enough highlighted here.

  • on April 2, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    i think kkr should utilize shakib properly,he is a big gun in the t20 formet

  • Shohan_ on April 2, 2012, 4:04 GMT

    Nagraj Gollapudi..... what does "key player" mean???? please write another article on this.

  • on April 2, 2012, 3:47 GMT

    so sad to read the article.... shakib is not the key player!!!!

  • on April 2, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    There should be the name of Shakib in the discussion. He is the number one allrounder in the world.

  • seanhass12 on April 2, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    hey KKR, All bangalis are behind you. KKR fan from Canada

  • Greatest_Game on April 2, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    Lots of talk here about Shakib. Is he really such a key player? To keep things in perspective, take a look at the current ICC Twenty20 rankings of the players named in the article: Batting: McCullum, 4; Kallis 12; Gambhir 14; Pathan 72; Shakib 78. ~~ Bowling: Shakib 14; Lee 31; Pathan 42; Kallis 77; Narine 134. ~~ All Rounder: Kallis 6. None other listed. (Only top 10 all rounders are listed.) And 2011 IPL performances? Shakib had by far the best Ave & strike rate of all KKR bowlers, but his batting was less than average. Brett Lee's bowling was terrible! Pathan contributed well with bat and ball. But, Most runs (424) KALLIS, most 50s (4) KALLIS, highest score (80) KALLIS, most catches (9) KALLIS…and Kallis took 7 wickets in 9 inns, econ 7.08.

  • on April 2, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    KKR all the way. I hope that the top order batsmen will set the platform for the finishers like Shakib Al Hasan .

  • anandodhara on April 1, 2012, 23:13 GMT

    KKR had Mashrafe while he was at the top form of his career, but Ganguly decided not to play him. KKR are lost. Shakib was hired. Shakib was given more chances and he produced for KKR are but shakib was also not used properly last year, KKR lost. This year, I hope KKR realise that you cant just sit your best player who is also in his top form of his career. If shakib is not discriminated and given the chance to play every game, I predict KKR wins the championship this year. Goo dluck KKR , good luck shakib.

  • D-Ascendant on April 1, 2012, 22:47 GMT

    A bunch of good players, sure. But honestly? This is a team dressed in horrible purple and owned by Shah Rukh Khan. I'm sorry: Unless they change those two things, I'll be supporting just about any other team.

  • RashadBanna on April 1, 2012, 22:41 GMT

    Shakib deserves a mention. I won't question the writer as everyone are entitled to their own opinion but Shakib is the world's best all-rounder. He deserves a mention. No worries. Not losing any sleep over it. The Indians never liked us.

  • on April 1, 2012, 22:32 GMT

    I will always support KKR no matter wt..Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo... Love from Pakistan

  • on April 1, 2012, 22:31 GMT

    Weak Domestic Players ! The teams that have won so far were having the strongest weak links !

  • on April 1, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    KKR wins it this year, I say.

  • AusieBangaleeShameem on April 1, 2012, 22:23 GMT

    Shakib Al Hasan -- watch him out. Ask the big names/captains of world cricket. They will tell you how much importance they give to think about Shakib. He was under-used in last IPL season -- this time just we'll wait and see how the management uses him. Good luck KKR. (Dada is the best as always)

  • JG2704 on April 1, 2012, 22:18 GMT

    Could anyone kindly tell me if there is any UK tv coverage of the event please?

  • on April 1, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    @kinglord, U r absoultely right on the spot mate. I am also bd supporter and die hard fan of shakib. while i was reading all the comments i found out that there are many fans who gets fanatic for shakib that they cant tolerate KKR team without him. They must acknowledge that it is INDIAN premier league and this club need shakib, not the other way around. Sometimes we (BD fans) act so shamelessly. we are like begging KKR for give him a chance in the team.grow up guys. we shouldnt get mad if they dont talk about shakib or dont take him in the team. he proved his ability many times and everyone in the world knows it. I think shakib should skip IPL and focus on English county cricket. To me, English county cricket is only place where true talent gets true respect. IPL is a tournament where nationality come first rather than talent. Thats why we see players like Jadeja earn 2 million where 1000 times more talented Chandimal gets only $100,000.so please dont make any issue about it. Cheers

  • amitgarg78 on April 1, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    Quite frankly, a poor choice in the CM as a source of inspiration. For all the daring, it's taken her 20 + years to bring change in states leadership and any real, positive impact of her leadership is yet to be seen. I would've refrained from making any political references on a sports forum. KKRs time might be here and now, but they've got the team selection to thank for it. And as for inspiration,look no further than kallis, who is rewriting the meaning of the word adapt. Quite simply, one of the best ever to play the sport!

  • on April 1, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    the writer donot see the ranking very sad news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • saikataiub on April 1, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    however the article is good.. bt i was surprised why Shakib al hasan's name was not included in Key player's list..

  • on April 1, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    It's vary shocking why sakib is not in the list of key players........ I wish Shakib will prove that he is the most valuable key player for KKR by performing in the ground.......................

  • on April 1, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    give respect to shakib he will give kkr the magic trophy

  • tisra on April 1, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    @My fellow Shakib fans : Shakib has already become a highly respectable player. If he goes on like this he would definitely be the key player for not only KKR but also for any team in the world he plays, no matter what the author of this article writes. So lets stop everyone coming here just to make complains like "He is the no1, where is he", he will surely prove it on the field. After sustaining a decade of mockery and arrogance from big brothers, Bangladesh tigers has won hearts for us in the Asia Cup. Now is its supporters turn to do the same. Can we act a little more matured and do that? Otherwise, whats the difference between them and us? Lets enjoy the beautiful game :-)

  • on April 1, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    Is Wasim Akram still the bowling coach of KK?

  • ransr5 on April 1, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    this is SAD, Nagraj Gollapudi, you have written a very good article, however u haven't mentioned much about shakib , who is one of the Key player in KKR. i think he outbeats most of the other players in KKR>

  • ravikiran.bits on April 1, 2012, 19:35 GMT

    1.Kallis 2.McCullum 3.Gambhir 4.Pathan 5.Shakib/Doeschate 6.Tiwary 7. Manvinder Bisla 8.Unadkat 9.Abdullah 10.Lee 11.Balaji

  • kms.javid on April 1, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    My xi: 1. Kallis 2. Mcullam/Doeschete 3. Gambir 4. Pathan 5. Tiwari 6. Bhatia 7. Sakib/Narine 8. Lee/Patinson/Marchant 9. Iqbal Abdullah 10. Balaji/Unadkat 11. Shukla/Shami/ladda. Marchamt will be a better option than lee. In absence of Sakib narine will be good. Team looks "Perfect" in cards. Hope this time they win the Cup.

  • on April 1, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    Dada is Dada we love him, but the nation comes first KKR

  • KingdLord92 on April 1, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    Why there is so much Fuzz on SHAKIB...Yes he is a good player....but nt the one which shuld be brought in context evry time..it depends on team management whio gets d chance or who doesnt...if u r so desperate then don send him 2 play....

  • on April 1, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    KKR was always the beest team.. luck wasnt on there side.. bt dis time they will rock :)

  • on April 1, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    1.Kallis 2.McCullum/Haddin 3.Gambhir 4.Pathan 5.Shakib//Doeschate 6.Tiwary 7.L.R.Shukla/ Manvinder Bisla 8.Unadkat/Ladda 9.Abdullah 10.Lee/Pattinson/Sunil Narine 11.Balaji/ Rajat Bhatia/ Pradeep Sangwan

  • on April 1, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    @Shafiqul - Where do you think Shakib is not getting his due? Almost every Indian fan aware of other cricketing teams holds Shakib in high respect. Don't see where the problem is?

  • on April 1, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    shakib al hasan currently is the no.1 all rounder of all formats of cricket so i think he is the most capable performer for KKR in the IPL season no - 5 ; watch out for him =)

  • on April 1, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    Narine is an exciting spinner, but in terms of consistency, Shakib (strictly as a bowler) is at least just as good... Add to that Shakib's batting talent!!! Now you do the math......

  • on April 1, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    Why not SHAKIB in KEY Player list !!! Surprising

  • on April 1, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    MY opening Xi is :

    Mccullum, kallis, gambhir, manoj, yusuf, shakib, shukla, lee, balaji, iqbal, unadkat :)

  • on April 1, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    sakib is the best option in this time to kkr.... So should every match we see sakib in field...

  • on April 1, 2012, 17:57 GMT

    its true that this season kolkatta has a very balancd side than any other team . but last few years we sow the big players are not in form when they need .

  • on April 1, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    I believe that KKR is the most popular team in the IPL and they have ability to reach the peak of success.So I wish all the best and my chosen squad is given bellow: 1. Brenden Mccullum 2. Jacques Kallis 3. Gautam Gambhir 4.Shakib Al Hasan 5. Manoj Tiwary 6.Yusuf Pathan 7. L,R Shukla 8.Brett Lee 9.Unadat 10. Balaji 11.Abdullah

  • nilb on April 1, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    IPL circus begins then. I don't know how some people are entertained by batsman hitting the ball senseless without footwork and proper stroke-play every single ball. This is ruining proper cricket and ruining all the good players. I don't know about others but this dead pitch bashing makes me sick. Thi

  • chilled_avenger on April 1, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    KKR is truly blessed that they can have the the important slots of Openers,Strike Bowler,Wicketkeeper,Medium-pace Allrounder and Spinning Allrounder all filled up between four Overseas players viz. Jacques Kallis,Brendon McCullum,Brett Lee,Shakib Al Hasan!

  • on April 1, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    How can y'all say KKR is lacking a good leader? Of all the matches Gambhir has captained for India, India has won. KKR has excellent leadership.

  • on April 1, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    Shakib can change any game any time....... He is a very powerful hitter....... best arm bowler in the world as well.KKR should utilize him properly.

  • on April 1, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Despite most balanced team KKR need luck. I saw KKR as an unlucky team in past season.

  • on April 1, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    KKR will do xtremely good again under gambhir. 1.Kallis 2.McCullum/Haddin/Doeschate 3.Gambhir 4.Pathan 5.Shakib 6.Tiwary 7.L.R.Shukla 8.Unadkat/Ladda 9.Abdullah 10.Lee/Pattinson 11.Balaji

    This is a hard XI to beat

  • on April 1, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    @rspsolo. Hey, Big fan of Dada. Your Dada is the Captain of Sahara's Warriors, currently busy practicing in Pune. Getting ready to beat KKR, in Eden Gardens!.Now, do you want to change your loyalty? Loyalty to Dada? ... Or, Loyalty to KKR? Make up your mind.

  • Rohon420 on April 1, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    Believe me,Gambhir is nt an ideal leader...KKR n33ds to change their captain!!! They need to change their batting order as well...Ryan Ten Doeschete & Shakib Al Hasan should be played regularly & placed ahead of Tiwary,Morgan(if he plays),Pathan...Trust me,these two are xceptional cricketers..especially Shakib!!!! If KKR really wants to win this tym,these steps should really be taken...They should also utilize their bowling options...Kallis cn bowl,so cn Ten Doeschate!!! So why do you need to give the bowl to sum1 lyk Balaji or Unadkat to bowl your depth overs??? Just can't get it in my head!!!!!!

  • vivekragha on April 1, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    kkr is nothing with out dada (ganguly), still we wont support.

  • kunderanengineer on April 1, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    "The world's best all-rounder in ODIs (Shakib)" somehow doesn't figure to be one of the key players on his ODI team!

  • on April 1, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    Its really insane that Indian media never give respect to any other overseas player what they truly deserve...Shakib Al Hasan is such a talented player and the ranking also proved it....nevertheless he is number one all-rounder in ODI & Test Cricket now! So plz behave urself indian supporter & media!

  • s_v_krishnan on April 1, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    This article is missing something because there is no word on Tiwary who is going to be more solid than Gambhir (it is my prediction).

  • VEXXZ on April 1, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    Hi guys , One man is missing DWAYNE SMITH. I do hope the "Powers at be " find it possible to call him up . He bring "ENERGY" to the game . This format of the game is "SMITTY" to the core , so ,,,,,make that call.

  • woodhaven on April 1, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    only problem in KKR is their captain. Gambhir is a bad captain and they should make kallis captain

  • on April 1, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    IPL is ruining Indian Cricket.

  • on April 1, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    I am completely agree with Siddharth Gopakumar. Shakib has not been put in there as a key player due to he is from Bangladesh. I wish Shakib will bring justice by performing in the ground as he always does so. Please give him enough chance to play his natural cricket.

  • on April 1, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    Am i the only one who believes that ten doeschate and Pattinson should get a mention in this report? We all know what pattinson can do, and ten doeschate's record in last years ipl as well as in the champions league was good. They even wasted him sending him so low

  • on April 1, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    Can the author enlighten us on when Ganguly was stubborn? Kolkata, one of the most popular teams in the IPL? Really? Last year Kolkata played most of their early games in front of empty stadiums at Eden Gardens. It was only when ticket prices were slashed and SRK started trying to appease Ganguly through the media that things improved a bit. KKR was probably the most popular team in the IPL in the 1st 3 seasons thanks to the tremendous star power of Ganguly.

  • on April 1, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    An April Fool's Day joke!

  • on April 1, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    1. Mc Cullam 2. Gambhir 3.Kallis 4. Shakib Al Hasan 5. M. Tiwary 6. Brad Hadin 7. Yusuf pathzn /.doeschate/lee/patinson 8. bhatia 9. s. ahmed 10. shukla 11.i. abdullah.

  • muannis on April 1, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    Sakib Al Hasan, the Super Star of KKR, not in the list ! It is April's Fool, right ?

  • muannis on April 1, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    Sakib, Sakib & Sakib the only player to watch. It is very clear that Mr.Gulpudi or whatever wrote this report intentionally escaping the Biggest name Sakib Al Hasan ! Don't bother whether this Indian reporter mention Sakib's name or not India will be beaten again & again by the Tigers.

  • on April 1, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    Shakib Al Hasan is one of the key player

  • on April 1, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    I think Shakib Al Hasan will be key player in KKR.He is in a super form in batting but his bowling is not like much "sakib". Wish his bowling will improved than asia cup. Last year he served KKR with bowling and i think this year his batting will be key factor for KKR.

  • frozendilemma on April 1, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    No mentioning of Ryan Tendoeschate...he`s a great player and they have hardly used him...

  • arunsudha on April 1, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    kkr depends most on the foriegn Talent . they hav to groom more ind players . There main forces are Mcullam(NZ),Kallis(SA),Shakib(BAN),Lee(AUS),Morgan(ENG). they must bring more indian talents... Tough Luck for them

  • on April 1, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    @Nagraj Gollapudi...What About Shakib Al Hasan ??? isn't he a key player???

  • on April 1, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    delhi are the champions they need to do well

  • on April 1, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    We watch KKR/IPL because Sakib Al Hasan is Playing .....

  • on April 1, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    They should Place Shakib as 2-Down Batsman

  • on April 1, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    Kolkata ain't exactly balanced. They played well last season but need to be better this time around and the focus shouldn't be on big names but also on domestic players in team

  • yasir08 on April 1, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    my playin xi for kkr..1.Mculum 2.kallis 3.gambhir 4.m tiwary 5.y pathan 6.shakib al hasan 7.doeschate/lee/patinson8.l balaji 9.s ahmd 10.i abdullah 11.bhatia/shukla

  • on April 1, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    i can say u guys ..in T20 format, shakib iz 100 times better than kallis.so he shoud be n1 in big gun list at any way.

  • on April 1, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    KKR should play Sakib and Ten Doeschate in a regular basis.Also they must use the talent of Kalis as Bowler.Also they have to use Laxmi and Raja Bhatia at 7 & 8 position as Al-rounder.

  • on April 1, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    Ganguly's "stubborness", when was he stubborn? Clearly the author doesn't like Dada and wants to take a swipe. Secondly, how can say that Shakib Al Hasan is not a key player in this squad?? He is the World's Best all rounder in all formats and being such a key player with bat and bowl, he has to be the star player of team. If shakib were in any other test playing nation, he would be a demi god, but just because he is from a lower ranked team, he doesnt get the respect he deserves.....

  • on April 1, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Shakib had not been used properly last season. Hope that, Shakib will get more chances this season. Wish you best of luck shakib.

  • rspsolo on April 1, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    SURE THAY WILL BE WIN IPL5................................................................................

    April fool......lol....!!! by., big fan of dada

  • on April 1, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    KKR is lacking a good leader. They should have taken Mahela Jayawardena during the last auction. You may have the best combination in the team, but a good leader is very much essential to navigate the team for success.

  • shimulking on April 1, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    Every One forget that Shakib Al Hasan is tje best. So Shakib Al Hasan is the Key Player for KKR.

  • Hrit24 on April 1, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    My home team, KKR, will win this tournament! This statement is based on logic. They have a brilliant captain/bat Gautam Gambhir, and contain some excellent batsmen (McCullum, the most explosive T20 opener after Gayle; Kallis, one of the most dependable, and consistent batsmen in the world; Eoin Morgan, a talented Irish-born bat but not in-form; the big-hitting Yusuf Pathan; the in-form Manoj Tiwary; ten Doeschate one of the best batsmen in the Associate world), allrounders like Bhatia, Shakib (the best allrounder in the world), bowlers like Narine, who could be a lethal bowler in T20; de Lange, one of SA's best exciting quickies; Lee, the fastest bowler in the world, Pattinson who is the best young Australian exciting quick, Iqbal Abdulla, one of the most exciting India spinners, Shami Ahmed, an exciting local fast-bowler and wicketkeeper-batsmen of the calibre of Brad Haddin. Local talent like Ahmed, Chirag, Samson, Debabrata, Goswami, Saxena, Shukla will add the strength of the squad

  • shimulking on April 1, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Every One See The IPL 2012, Shakib Al Hasan is Wining Player For KKR. Cause He is the Best. Best Of Luck Shakib Al Hasan.

  • cairo on April 1, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    KKR should use Sakib properly than they can success...

  • --.-- on April 1, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    Surely they do have the capability to win this time around. This is what we listen ever season :D CSK, MI & RCB or DD - Top 3 teams and a few upsets by Minnows. This is what going to happen this season !!

  • Nipun on April 1, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    Shakib is also the World's top allrounder in tests for about 4 months now. It would help you to go through rankings before writing articles. Thanks.

  • Nipun on April 1, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    They have the World's best allrounder in ODIs ? Who's the best allrounder in tests ? You have any idea about rankings ?

  • on April 1, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    Any how they maybe balance but Chennai Super Kings are going to win......... Maybe they are balanced but CSK have team spirit CSK ROCKZZ........!!!!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on April 1, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    Any how they maybe balance but Chennai Super Kings are going to win......... Maybe they are balanced but CSK have team spirit CSK ROCKZZ........!!!!!

  • Nipun on April 1, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    They have the World's best allrounder in ODIs ? Who's the best allrounder in tests ? You have any idea about rankings ?

  • Nipun on April 1, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    Shakib is also the World's top allrounder in tests for about 4 months now. It would help you to go through rankings before writing articles. Thanks.

  • --.-- on April 1, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    Surely they do have the capability to win this time around. This is what we listen ever season :D CSK, MI & RCB or DD - Top 3 teams and a few upsets by Minnows. This is what going to happen this season !!

  • cairo on April 1, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    KKR should use Sakib properly than they can success...

  • shimulking on April 1, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Every One See The IPL 2012, Shakib Al Hasan is Wining Player For KKR. Cause He is the Best. Best Of Luck Shakib Al Hasan.

  • Hrit24 on April 1, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    My home team, KKR, will win this tournament! This statement is based on logic. They have a brilliant captain/bat Gautam Gambhir, and contain some excellent batsmen (McCullum, the most explosive T20 opener after Gayle; Kallis, one of the most dependable, and consistent batsmen in the world; Eoin Morgan, a talented Irish-born bat but not in-form; the big-hitting Yusuf Pathan; the in-form Manoj Tiwary; ten Doeschate one of the best batsmen in the Associate world), allrounders like Bhatia, Shakib (the best allrounder in the world), bowlers like Narine, who could be a lethal bowler in T20; de Lange, one of SA's best exciting quickies; Lee, the fastest bowler in the world, Pattinson who is the best young Australian exciting quick, Iqbal Abdulla, one of the most exciting India spinners, Shami Ahmed, an exciting local fast-bowler and wicketkeeper-batsmen of the calibre of Brad Haddin. Local talent like Ahmed, Chirag, Samson, Debabrata, Goswami, Saxena, Shukla will add the strength of the squad

  • shimulking on April 1, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    Every One forget that Shakib Al Hasan is tje best. So Shakib Al Hasan is the Key Player for KKR.

  • on April 1, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    KKR is lacking a good leader. They should have taken Mahela Jayawardena during the last auction. You may have the best combination in the team, but a good leader is very much essential to navigate the team for success.

  • rspsolo on April 1, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    SURE THAY WILL BE WIN IPL5................................................................................

    April fool......lol....!!! by., big fan of dada