Owned by Bollywood actors, Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and husband Jai Mehta, the Kolkata were on the receiving end for all three editions of the IPL. But in 2011, with a new captain in Gautam Gambhir, the side got the best out of its experienced batting line-up. Pacers like Brett Lee provided the perfect bowling stability needed along with a good spin attack in the form of Iqbal Abdulla and Shakib Al Hasan. All-rounders like Yusuf Pathan and Jacques Kallis, with their mammoth experience gave the team a strong balance.
However, their superb run of form was eventually halted and their title dream crushed, when the Mumbai knocked them out of the tournament in the play-offs in the fourth season. The good part though, was that they were one of the teams included to play in the 2011 Champions League T20. Having gone through the qualifying stages at first, Kolkata took part in the tournament but did not impress much and were knocked out in the early stages.
The year 2012 witnessed the inclusion of the explosive New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum, who returned to his former franchise after a period of three years, which only meant good news for the Knight Riders. Determination and hard work paid rich dividends as Kolkata claimed their maiden IPL trophy after beating defending champions Chennai in what was a dramatic end to the fifth season.