KKR – A Team In Search For Its Identity




Kolkata Knight Riders have been the marquee team of the IPL since its inception. They have the most glamorous of owners in one of India’s biggest movie superstars – Shah Rukh Khan. They represent a city that is famous for their love of the game and have a stadium so rich in Indian cricket history that few other stadiums can match the thrill of playing in.

Kolkata Knight Riders - A team in search for its identity

Kolkata Knight Riders – A team in search for its identity

With so much going for them, success has oddly been a scarce quantity for the team. They have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons and been the model example for Murphy’s Law – ‘If something can go wrong, it will go wrong’. KKR have had issues with player’s falling out with the coaching staff, a blog that made people wonder the identity of the player who was posting all kinds of scandalous news during IPL 2. They decided to have a fresh approach in IPL 4 and again courted controversy by not picking the city’s darling – Sourav Ganguly.

However they did finally seem to be on the right track. Their owners finally realized that the team management should be better left to professionals and in Gautam Gambhir they had a leader ‘par excellence’. Their captain finally gave an identity to the team by instilling fighting qualities that were conspicuously lacking in the previous editions. KKR had a confident start to the season but somehow all the good they had done seemed to get undone come the business end of the league. They floundered spectacularly and somehow an experienced head like Balaji contrived to emulate Mortaza’s horror 20th over by conceding 20 in the last over to gift Mumbai the game. KKR still qualified for the playoffs but in the 4th place rather than 2nd that they should have. In the eliminator again the team let the game slip from a promising position.

The qualifier system for Champions League T20 seemed to be a god send opportunity to the team. They had another shot at qualification and managed to qualify after two unconvincing performances. The most important problem for KKR is not performance of the players or the quality of players in their setup. Somehow the feeling of being inadequate creeps in the team and makes players like Balaji and Yusuf Pathan question their abilities. There have been numerous players who do not seem to be playing with the same abandon that we have become accustomed to in the past editions of the IPL.

Hence KKR seem to have a very odd problem. They need to quickly adapt an identity. Normally it should not affect the team too much but in sport Champion teams are made at the cornerstone of some principles. A Manchester United team always displays the same tenacity as their manager, the current Barcelona team has all its members effusing their love for the Catalans while much closer home most of MS Dhoni’s successes have been built on teams that have unquestionable belief in their leader.

KKR lack this and need to get one quickly to do true justice to their potential. For that they first need their charismatic captain, Gautam Gambhir back. And yes congratulations to Gambhir for his impending marriage. Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo Re!

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