The Kolkata Knight Riders squad is usually set for their home conditions and that has held them in a very good stead over the recent seasons. It will now be interesting to see if the Knight Riders bring about any changes to their side come the IPL 2016.
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Going into the eighth edition of the blockbuster cricket tournament of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Kolkata Knight Riders were the joint most successful team in the IPL having won the title twice. They were also the defending champions in IPL 8 having won the previous edition by beating Kings XI Punjab in a tight final.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ squad for IPL 8 had 23 players, which was the lowest amongst the eight participating franchises. They retained 16 players from their title winning squad of last season and bought seven new players to boost their chances of retaining the title. Their squad comprised of 14 domestic players and nine overseas players.
The list of retained players included the franchise captain and former Indian team opener Gautam Gambhir. It also included some other famous international players like South African pacer Morne Morkel, young Australian fast bowler Patrick Cummins, Indian leg-break bowler Piyush Chawla and former Indian opener Robin Uthapa.
The likes of power hitter Yusuf Pathan, Indian pacer Umesh Yadav, versatile Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib al Hasan, Dutch international Ryan ten Doeschate and controversial West Indies spinner Sunil Narine were some other players who were retained by the franchise.
The new faces in the squad included former Australian left arm chinaman bowler Brad Hogg and talented young players from the Indian A team circuit like Kuldeep Singh Yadav and Konganda Charamanna Cariappa. Promising talent Aditya Garhwal, who was also bought at the player auction, was the youngest player in the Kolkata Knight Riders squad at just 19 years of age.
Kolkata also released three players from its squad of the previous edition – local boys Debabrata Das and Sayan Sekhar Mandal along with former South African great Jacques Kallis.
Out of these three players, the most surprising and high-profile omission was that of renowned all-rounder Jacques Kallis who was a very important player for Kolkata in their title win of IPL 7.
Former South African captain Johan Botha was later signed as a replacement for Chris Lynn who was injured, while former Pakistani all-rounder Azhar Mahmood was signed up to replace the injured James Neesham.
Jacques Kallis has been appointed the coach for the season, replacing Trevor Bayliss in the role.
The final Kolkata Knight Riders squad list – divided into domestic and overseas players – is as follows. The KKR squad will get updated in the lead-up to the IPL 2016.
Gautam Gambhir, Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Sheldon Jackson, Jaydev Unadkat, Ankit Rajpoot, R Satish, Manan Sharma,
Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Morne Morkel, Shakib al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Brad Hogg, Colin Munro, John Hastings, Jason Holder,
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