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Confident KKR leave for Chennai to kick off IPL 4

Kolkata Knightriders logo
Kolkata Knightriders logo

Confident of a turnaround, the Gautam Gambhir-led revamped Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) left for Chennai today to cross swords with defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the inaugural match of Indian Premier League (IPL) Season 4 on April 8.

The Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise, hailed as one of the most glamorous outfits on the block, is the only team which has failed to book a semi- final berth in past three seasons of the cash-rich IPL.

The side was captained by former India skipper Sourav Ganguly on two occasions -- the first and the third edition -- whereas swashbuckling Kiwi wicket-keeper batsman Brendon McCullum was at the helm in the second edition, but a place in the knock-out stage reamained elusive.

Having bit the dust thrice, the new KKR management headed by Venky Mysore decicded to go in for a major overhaul this time and took a bold decision to not retain any players, including Ganguly, McCullum and the explosive Chris Gayle of West Indies.

They acquired some big fish like World Cup final star Gambhir, Baroda dasher Yousuf Pathan and South Africa batting mainstay Jacques Kallis in this year's auction.

Besides Kallis, other major foreign recruits are England star Eoin Morgan, Bangladesh and Netherlands all-rounders Shakibul Hassan, Ryan Ten Doeschate and veteran Australian pacer Brett Lee.

They also invested in some valuable domestic players like speedster Laxmipati Balaji and Delhi transfers Pradeep Sangwan and Rajat Bhatia.

Sounding confident of the team's prospects, bowling consultant Wasim Akram said, "A captain who leads from front, a batting line-up which includes some of the most explosive T20 batsmen, a talented pace attack and some genunine all-rounders make KKR a formidable side."

The new skipper was also confident the team doing well this season.

The outfit had finished second from bottom in the inaugural edition and was placed last in season two. In 2010, the side missed a semi-final berth by virtue of a poor run-rate.

NNN

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