KKR made Australia fast bowler Cummins the most expensive oversees player in history at the auction in December, while also spending big on England duo Eoin Morgan and Tom Banton.
Kolkata, currently coached by former New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman and T20 legend Brendon McCullum, finished just fifth last year but had reached the play-offs for two successive seasons before that.
Following a hugely productive auction, more play-off action surely awaits KKR as they look to lift the IPL title for the third time and first since 2014.
Coach: Brendon McCullum
Captain: Dinesh Karthik
Retained: Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier, Harry Gurney, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi.
Traded in: Siddhesh Lad.
Signed: Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan, Tom Banton, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, M Siddhartha, Nikhil Naik, Chris Green, Pravin Tambe.
IPL titles: 2 (2012, 2014)
Leading run-scorer: Eoin Morgan
In the form of his life, as he showed in England’s recent series wins over Australia and Pakistan. Has never quite delivered in the IPL – failing to score more than one fifty in each of his six appearances – but that will surely change over the next two months.
Leading wicket-taker: Pat Cummins
No reason why he can’t justify his huge and record-breaking price-tag with a string of impressive performances. Can bowl serious gas and has acquired the skills needed to thrive in T20 cricket over the past few years.
Kolkata Knight Riders largely disappointed last season but look primed for a serious title challenge following a brilliant auction. They boast one of the best squads ever assembled in T20 cricket and are coached by the dynamic McCullum. They should go very close.
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