KKR SWOT Analysis: Will Kolkata Knight Riders Clinch Their Third Indian Premier League Trophy?


After a disappointing season last time around, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will be keen to make a strong start to their Indian Premier League 2024 campaign under the leadership of Shreyas Iyer. In the mini-auction in December 2023, they spent Rs 31.35 crore, with Mitchell Starc being their most expensive buy. In the last edition, KKR finished seventh in the points table after winning six matches and losing eight. They have failed to qualify for the IPL playoffs since 2021.

However, the return of one of KKR's favorite sons, Gautam Gambhir, will boost the morale of the team. After his stint with Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), Gambhir will mentor the team under whose captaincy he won two IPL trophies.

Apart from securing the services of Starc for the upcoming season, Kolkata also bought Chetan Sakariya, KS Bharat, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ramandeep Singh, Saqib Hussain, Manish Pandey and Sherfane Rutherford in the mini-auction. Captain Shreyas Iyer will also return to the team after being ruled out of the 2023 season due to injury.

According to the IPL 2024 schedule released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Kolkata Knight Riders will face Sunrisers Hyderabad in the third match of the league on March 23 at their home ground Eden Gardens.

As KKR prepare for the upcoming IPL season, let's take a look at their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.


Kolkata Knight Riders is one of the many IPL teams that has an explosive batting lineup. Players like Phil Salt, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Shreyas Iyer, Rinku Singh, Dre Russ (Andre Russell), Sherfane Rutherford, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine have shown their hard work in the past.

Even though Narine has not performed well with the bat in recent seasons, he has consistently performed well with the ball due to his spin wizardry that has mesmerized the batsmen over the years. His spin partner Varun Chakravarthy is another effective spinner whom the KKR team management can field on the spin-friendly pitches of Eden Gardens. He took 20 wickets in IPL 2023 and will hope to enjoy another solid season in 2024.

Apart from Narine and Chakravarthy, Knight Riders have also secured the services of Mujeeb Ur Rahman. The Afghanistan right-arm off-break bowler is the youngest player to take a five-wicket haul in the history of ODI cricket and he will definitely add a variety of options to KKR's spin armoury.


A strong batting lineup and a strong spin attack are not the only factors that are important for a team to win the IPL. Fast bowlers also play an important role in helping teams win and their role especially in the death overs cannot be overstated. KKR have struggled in the past with their fast bowlers in containing the batsmen at the end of the innings and we will have to wait and see how they fare in IPL 2024.

They bought Mitchell Starc for Rs 24.75 crore in the mini-auction, but released Umesh Yadav, Lockie Ferguson and Tim Southee. In such a situation, the team management will largely depend on the experience and performance of Mitchell Starc.

Over-reliance on the Australian fast bowler could be a major cause of concern for the Knight Riders. The two-time champions have included Chetan Sakariya and Dushmantha Chameera in their fast bowling unit, but both of them do not have much experience of playing on the IPL stage.


The return of Shreyas Iyer and Gautam Gambhir to the KKR family will be a huge boost. Last year, Shreyas could not captain the Knight Riders due to back surgery. However, he has shown good form since his return from injury last year and is expected to progress under Gambhir's guidance.

Another positive for KKR is their many finishers like Rinku Singh, Venkatesh Iyer and Andre Russell. These batsmen have shown how destructive they can be when they are in full flight, by demonstrating that they can get their team over the finish line with their power-hitting in thrilling contests.


Andre Russell is one of the most important players of the team and the Jamaican all-rounder has shown that he can dominate any opponent. But recently, due to factors like injuries, lack of consistency and the added burden of expectations, his form has been a bit erratic and it seems to be weighing heavily on his big shoulders.

Sunil Narine can also perhaps improve on his batting after failing to make significant contributions in recent times. Needless to say, the two former West Indies internationals need to perform well if KKR are to enjoy success in IPL 2024, considering what an impact the Caribbean duo can make when they are at their best.

Probable Playing XII

Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer (captain), Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mitchell Starc, Chetan Sakariya, Varun Chakraborty, Harshit Rana, Manish Pandey (Impact sub).

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