Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-time best XI in IPL history
The Kolkata-based team is the 3rd most successful team in the IPL and they have never lost an IPL final.
Published - Jul 28, 2020 1:49 pm | Updated - Jul 28, 2020 8:49 pm
Kolkata Knight Riders showed the world what the IPL is capable of producing back in 2008 when Brendon McCullum smashed 158 runs in the very first match of IPL’s inaugural edition. This knock by McCullum and the match overall had a huge impact on the league and is a reason why the tournament grew in popularity in its initial years. The team is owned by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan who is often seen attending their matches, especially during the earlier seasons.
Local boy Sourav Ganguly was drafted as the team’s icon player in the first campaign. A lot of household foreign names such as Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Ricky Ponting and Shoaib Akhtar were a part of this star-studded team which made them the favourites for the 2008 season. A complete squad revamp and change in ideology was needed for them to win their first title. They have won 2 IPL titles, one each in 2012 and 2014.
The Kolkata-based team is the 3rd most successful team in the IPL and they have never lost an IPL final. Apart from their two IPL crowns, they have also finished as runners up in the CLT20 tournament in 2014. Through the years, they have had a built their team around a strong core of Indian players and filled the gaps with overseas T20 specialists like Chris Lynn, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine.
Here is our take on their all-time greatest XI:
1. Chris Lynn
Chris Lynn didn’t have the greatest starts in his IPL careers with Deccan Chargers and Sunrisers Hyderabad as he only managed to play 1 game in 3 years for both teams combined. He was snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014 and didn’t take much time to show his quality. “Lynnsanity” scored 45 off 31 balls and took a brilliant catch near the boundary to dismiss AB de Villiers which completely turned the game in the final over. This performance earned him the man of the match award.
He was subsequently retained in 2015 but was ruled out of the tournament due to an injury. In 2017, Lynn started showing his true potential. Against Gujarat Lions, he smashed 6 sixes during his 19-ball 50 innings. Lynn smashed another half-century in just 22 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he and his opening partner Sunil Narine scored 105 runs in the first 6 overs which is the record for most runs scored by a team in the powerplay in IPL history.
Lynn ended the 2017 campaign, scoring almost 300 runs in just 7 innings with an average just short of 50, scoring the runs at an astonishing strike rate of 180.98. In the next 2 campaigns, he hit a combined 896 runs which has taken his aggregate to 1280 runs in just 41 matches. This has earned him the reputation of being one of the most feared openers in IPL. He was bought by Mumbai Indians ahead of the 2020 season for a base price which is a steal in every regard.