By Rohit Ghosh on June 2, 2014
Seven games into the UAE portion of IPL 7 and the Kolkata Knight Riders had recorded just 2 wins. A full season later, they’re the 2014 IPL champions. Despite the rough start to the season, the team came together under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa to ultimately finish the season top. Kolkata, stand strong.
hanks to Gautam Gambhir’s captaincy, one of the most underrated feats of Kolkata’s season was getting the best out of its youth. Manish Pandey and Suryakumar Yadav got to play all the games and more importantly, had quantifiable impacts on the team’s success. Gambhir also opted to use leg-spinner Piyush Chawla as an attacking option whereas Sunil Narine was used in the death overs. Gambhir’s ability to mix and match his roster was ideal.
Despite scoring 72 runs in the season’s opener against Mumbai, veteran Jacques Kallis struggled for much of the first half of the season. As a result, management decided to use Robin Uthappa as the opener. Uthappa would go on to record 10 consecutive scores of 40-plus. Uthappa’s consistency was the biggest factor in KKR’s title.
The most unlikely of wins this season came against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Sharjah when Kolkata won the game by just two runs thanks to a season-saving catch by Chris Lynn at deep mid-wicket.
Yusuf Pathan scored 72 off 22 balls to lead the Kolkata Knight Riders over the Sunrisers Hyderabad to claim the No. 2 spot on the points table. Eden Gardens was figuratively lit ablaze as he hit the fastest half-century in IPL (off 15 balls). Pathan’s 72 off 22 is the highest ever T20 score with an innings strike rate of over 300.
Chasing a steep 199/4 put up by Kings XI Punjab, the Kolkata Knight Riders were hoping to rely on the ever-so-consistent Robin Uthappa. This time, however, Manish Pandey dominated the pitch with 94 off 50 balls to help KKR to defeat KXIP by three wickets and claim their second IPL title in three years.
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