IPL 2024: SWOT Analysis of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)

Dec 24, 2023

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Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Team SWOT Analysis 2024 (Photo Source: IPL)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) haven’t won the IPL since 2014 and will look to quench their title thirst under Shreyas Iyer’s captaincy in the upcoming edition. In 2023, Iyer did not take part in the league due to his back injury as Nitish Rana could not succeed as a leader.

Under Rana, KKR won only six off the 14 games and concluded their campaign in the seventh spot on the points table. Before the tournament, KKR have grabbed a lot of eyeballs for acquiring Australia pacer Mitchell Starc in the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, for a staggering sum of INR 24.75 crore. After splurging the humongous amount on the Aussie, it will be interesting to see how the speedster fares in the upcoming tournament.

Along with Starc, KKR bought eight more players which include the likes of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Gus Atkinson, Manish Pandey and KS Bharat. With the addition of nine players to the KKR squad, here’s a SWOT analysis of the two-time champions.

KKR Strengths:

Exceptional batters

KKR’s batting unit has some match-winning names such as Jason Roy, Shreyas Iyer, Andre Russell, Nitish Rana, Venkatesh Iyer, and Rinku Singh. All these batters are capable of taking quality bowling units to the cleaners. Sunil Narine has not been among the runs in the last two seasons but he also has the potential to change the course of the game with his bat.

Outstanding spinners

Knight Riders will go with one of the best spin attacks in the upcoming tournament. Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy were already a part of the side and they also fetched Afghanistan’s young spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman for INR 2 crore in the auction. 

KKR Weaknesses:

Vulnerable pace attack

After releasing speedsters like Umesh Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, and Tim Southee, Kolkata snapped up Mitchell Starc at the auction. Starc became the most expensive in the history of the cash-rich league and will have to justify the tag in the coming seaon. The franchise also purchased pacers Chetan Sakariya and England’s Gus Atkinson.

In the upcoming IPL edition, KKR will heavily bank on Starc to get early breakthroughs. Except for Starc, there is no credible name in Kolkata’s fast-bowling unit. Atkinson has played only three matches in India in his brief international career therefore, his inexperience might cost Knight Riders. Sakariya hasn’t played any competitive match since playing for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in May 2023.

KKR Opportunities

Shreyas Iyer’s return and Mitchell Starc’s services

Shreyas Iyer’s comeback might bring positive results to Knight Riders. The 29-year-old failed to show up in the last IPL edition due to a back injury. His presence as a skipper will give confidence to the team. Iyer’s recent batting numbers are fabulous which will bring cheers to the faces of the team’s supporters. Starc will also have a chance to prove his mettle in the league, returning to the league after 2015.

Extraordinary finishers

KKR have batters like Rinku Singh and Andre Russell who have the potential to make quality bowling attacks their bunny and take the team home with their match-finishing skills. Narine’s bat has remained quiet for the last couple of seasons but he also possesses the power to accumulate runs swiftly in the final overs of innings.

KKR Threats

Mitchell Starc’s price tag

In the auction, KKR broke the bank to sign up the Australia pacer Starc. They splurged INR 24.75 crore to sign him up. Spending such a massive amount on the Aussie veteran can prove costly for Knight Riders as the speedster played his last IPL edition in 2015. The paceman is one of the best bowlers in One-Day International (ODI) and Test formats but his T20 International (T20I) record isn’t as extraordinary.

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