Published By: Admin

IPL Recap: Forgotten “MAN” of KKR – Three Players Who Played Big Roles

Three players, three crucial plays, and all three of their names starting with MAN

After Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are undoubtedly the most successful team, especially when the team was under the captaincy of former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir. After a few years of slump, the team has again risen from the ashes in the ongoing season under the mentorship of returnee Gautam Gambhir, who left the team in 2018.

Speaking of success, everyone remembers the two IPL titles that KKR won, and the credit is rightfully given to Gambhir for turning KKR into champions and a regular strong contender. However, three players have been completely forgotten who were the most crucial cogs for KKR in the two finals of 2012 and 2014.

Manvinder Bisla

Started his IPL journey with Kings XI Punjab, Manvinder Bisla was roped in by KKR in 2011. However, he was not a favourite in the line-up given the presence of Brendon McCullum and Brad Haddin. However, destiny had other plans, as Bisla made it to the playing XI of the 2012 finale because KKR had to accommodate Brett Lee for an injured Lakhshmipathy Balaji.

CSK’s posted a lofty target of 190 in 20 overs; thanks to a blistering 73 runs off 38 balls by Suresh Raina. Batting second, skipper Gambhir went home for two runs, but Bisla took the onus on him and scored 89 off 48 balls, handing over the victory to KKR. Alongside him was Jacques Kallis, who supported the show with 69 runs off 49 balls. Unfortunately, Bisla never shone like his finale performance and disappeared from KKR’s dressing room in 2015.

Manoj Tiwary

In the 2012 finale, if Bisla scored tonnes of runs to help KKR reach the finish line; it was actually Manoj Tiwary who helped KKR cross the finish line. In the final over against Dwayne Bravo, Tiwary kept his composure and scored nine runs in the last over. Tiwary played a few memorable knocks for KKR, including his career best 75 runs off 48 balls and his maiden 50 runs off 29 balls at the iconic Eden Garden.

Unfortunately, in the 2014 IPL mega auction, Tiwary was let go from the team as KKR chose to retain Gambhir and Sunil Narine. For KKR, Tiwary played 64 innings and scored 1,136 runs with a strike rate of 110.39 and an average of 28.40.

Manish Pandey

In the 2014 finale against Kings XI Punjab, it was Manish Pandey who rose to the occasion and scored 90 runs off 50 balls to give KKR its second IPL title. So far, Pandey has played 61 games for KKR, scoring 1,484 runs for the Kolkata-based franchise. Unfortunately, Pandey has not been a regular this season and is struggling to find time in the playing XI. In 2024, Pandey has played only one match, but it was an important one for KKR.

After all, Pandey’s 42 runs off 32 and Venkatesh Iyer’s 70 runs off 52 balls helped KKR defeat the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede after a span of 12 years. The forgotten Pandey once again gained the spotlight, but only for a brief period. It will be interesting to see if KKR gives him a chance in the remainder of the tourney’s games.