Kolkata Knight Riders will take part in the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), hoping to become the first franchise to win the tournament three times. The 2014 winners underwhelmed in the Twenty20 tournament last year, failing to make the top four with seven wins and seven losses.

However, the franchise has shown overall improvement since the inaugural season of the IPL where there was all hype but no great performances within the team. The addition of Gautam Gambhir, who was eventually made captain in 2011, changed the fortunes of Kolkata as they proceeded to win two titles in the following three years.

While they will be without West Indies' Andre Russell this year who will miss the tournament due to a doping violation ban, the franchise did make some interesting picks in the 2017 IPL auction.

England's Chris Woakes was signed for Rs 42m (£505,800, $630,000) while New Zealand's Trent Boult was signed for Rs 50m (£590,000, $745,000), with Manish Pandey believing that both all-rounders are capable of making the difference in what is a balanced KKR squad.

Coach: Jacques Kallis

Key player

Gautam Gambhir: The KKR skipper is the mainstay in the batting lineup and has led the franchise to two IPL trophies.

Gambhir scored 505 runs in the 2016 IPL season with an average of 39 with five half-centuries and a strike rate of 122.

Fixtures

07/04/17Friday3.30pm BSTGujarat Lions v Kolkata Knight RidersRajkot
09/04/17Sunday3.30pm BSTMumbai Indians v Kolkata Knight RidersMumbai
13/04/17Thursday3.30pm BSTKolkata Knight Riders v Kings XI PunjabKolkata
15/04/17Saturday11:30am BSTKolkata Knight Riders v Sunrisers HyderabadKolkata
17/04/17Monday11:30pm BSTDelhi Daredevils v Kolkata Knight RidersDelhi
21/04/17Friday3:30pm BSTKolkata Knight Riders v Gujarat LionsKolkata
23/04/17Sunday3:30pm BSTKolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers BangaloreKolkata
26/04/17Wednesday3:30pm BSTRising Pune Supergiant v Kolkata Knight RidersPune
28/04/17Friday11:30pm BSTKolkata Knight Riders v Delhi DaredevilsKolkata
30/04/17Sunday3:30pm BSTSunrisers Hyderabad v Kolkata Knight RidersHyderabad
03/05/17Wednesday3:30pm BSTKolkata Knight Riders v Rising Pune SupergiantKolkata
07/05/17Sunday11:30am BSTRoyal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight RidersBangalore
09/05/17Tuesday3:30pm BSTKings XI Punjab v Kolkata Knight RidersChandigarh
13/05/17Saturday3:30pm BSTKolkata Knight Riders v Mumbai IndiansKolkata

IPL history

KKR were one of the inaugural teams formed during the inception of the IPL and have won the T20 tournament twice in 2012 and 2014, defeating Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab respectively in the finals. The franchise also holds the record for the longest winning streak (14) by any Indian team in T20s.

Squad

Gautam Gambhir (C), Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Shakib Al Hasan, Chris Lynn, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Sheldon Jackson, Ankit Rajpoot, Trent Boult, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Darren Bravo, Rishi Dhawan, Chris Woakes, Rovman Powell, Ishank Jaggi, Sayan Ghosh, Ramsingh Sanjay Yadav, Colin de Grandhomme.

Prediction

KKR have a balanced squad with many key players and should be able to make the top four and potentially challenge for a third IPL crown.