Kolkata Knight Riders hits ground running as focus shifts to IPL 9
Kolkata: Two days after the hallowed Eden Gardens was swamped in maroon colours, it was time to turn purple as the two-time former champions Kolkata Knight Riders checked in to begin their camp ahead of IPL-9 beginning April 9.
Gautam Gambhir. Pic/PTI
Skipper Gautam Gambhir and Co were seen going through their paces, keen to get back into rhythm. An integral part of the side, star South African allrounder Jacques Kallis was seen in a new avatar of head coach as he along with his deputy Simon Katich assessed the players' fitness.
Only two of their players -- Umesh Yadav and Manish Pandey -- are currently in the Indian squad while key players like opener Robin Uthappa and Gambhir only played last in the domestic T20 for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in January.
Their 2012 and 2014 title winning skipper Gambhir, along with Manish Pandey and Chris Lynn, had a lengthy net session facing the likes of Morne Morkel and John Hastings, the burly Australian recruit of this season.
Yusuf Pathan seemed to have shed a few kilos and he was bowling alongside Piyush Chawla at the nets. KKR ace spinner Sunil Narine was the first to check in when he arrived last week but only to rush back home Saturday with his father's untimely demise.
It remains to be seen whether their key spinner will be available for KKR's opening match against Delhi Daredevils here on April 10.
There was no West Indies duo of Andre Russell and Jason Holder who have gone back home to celebrate their World Twenty20 triumph.
Bangladesh star allrounder Shakib Al Hasan and this season's New Zealand recruit Colin Munro too are yet to join the side.