The Kolkata Knight Riders are amongst the best franchises of the Indian Premier League. Other than the 2 silverware that they’ve lifted so far, the team is also famous for building a proper team culture, all thanks to their supportive ownership & authoritative management. Here, we’ll have a look at 5 players who have led KKR in the past.
Sourav Ganguly and Kolkata are synonymous with each other. Being one of the most famous cricketers from the city, the veteran cricketer was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League & was also appointed as their skipper. The team got off well under his captaincy in the first two games of the tourney. However, the campaign started going downhill since then, and unfortunately, KKR ended at the 6th spot in the points table. Consequently, Ganguly was sacked in the next season but was reappointed in 2010.
Howbeit, another failure in that season resulted in the ace batsman’s permanent axing from the team which led to quite a lot of uproar all over the nation.
Brendon McCullum gave a once-in-a-lifetime to the Kolkata Knight Riders by scoring a scintillating 158* in the very first game of the tournament itself. As a result of his heroics with the bat, the KKR management started seeing a stalwart in McCullum and gave him the role of captaincy in 2009. Nonetheless, a change in captaincy didn’t change the franchise’s fortunes as this season went on to become their worst season of all time.
The team suffered a string of 9 successive defeats in this edition and ended the league at the last spot in the points table. Baz also failed to build a team culture and the dressing room’s atmosphere under him was allegedly pretty bad. For the same reason, he was also axed in the next season.
It’d be safe to say that the appointment of Gautam Gambhir as the skipper of the side was the turning point for the fortunes of the Kolkata Knight Riders. After a series of failures in 3 consecutive seasons, the franchise decided to completely revamp the unit. As a result, they bought quite a few greats like Jacques Kallis, Brett Lee, Shakib-Al-Hasan, etc. However, the biggest buy was that of Gautam Gambhir who was bought for a whopping amount of 2.4 million US Dollars.
The southpaw was handled over the captaincy duties as well and there had been no looking back for the team since then. After improving the team’s performance in the first season of his stint, Gambhir went on to lead the Knight Riders to two IPL titles in 2012 & 2014, respectively. He stayed with the team for 7 seasons and is still one of the biggest reasons behind them being a successful IPL franchise.
Jacques Kallis led the Kolkata Knight Riders for an extremely short while in 2011. Among the 2 games in which he captained, the team managed to win one and lose one. Soon, Gauti rejoined the team and took over the captaincy. Kallis, post his retirement, has also served the Men In Purple by working as their head coach. He was appointed as the coach of the side in 2015 and continued till 2019.
After Gambhir decided to call it off for KKR before the mega-auctions in 2018, the team was in a dire need of a captain, and hence, they signed Dinesh Karthik for a hefty amount of 7.6 crores. The Tamil Nadu-born had never led any IPL franchise before but he still managed to have a decent outing for the team in that season as they managed to make it to the top 4.
Even though the team couldn’t manage to clinch off the silverware, Karthik’s batting efforts earned him appreciation from the fans. The wicket-keeper batsman continued for another one & a half-season but the inability to take KKR to glory has led to his axing quite recently. The World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan has replaced DK.