Kolkata Knight Riders look to return to their winning ways as they will be pitted against the Deccan Chargers in the match which signals the halfway mark of Indian Premier League 2010. Though both sides boast of dangerous batsmen, they are yet to set the ball rolling in IPL 3 and one cannot provide them with a better setting than the Eden Gardens filled to the brim with a passionate audience.
Venue and conditions:
It’s the turn of the 146 year old Eden Gardens to host this riveting encounter. Both these teams need a victory in order to get their title hopes back on track. With a massive capacity accompanied by the brilliant acoustics of the stadium, this one promises to be an electric encounter between two evenly matched sides.
After getting the better of their rivals in the opening game, the Knight Riders have found victories hard to come by, winning just once in their last five games. The Knight Riders come into the match after having been deflated by the Delhi Daredevils by a convincing margin of 40 runs.
The top order has been the big worry for the Knight Riders this season. Sourav Ganguly at the top is just not clicking for the Knights and his role in the batting needs a serious rethink. Manoj Tiwary looks like a considerably better option to partner Chris Gayle to get the innings started for KKR. Had it not been for his captaincy, Ganguly would have struggled to find a spot in the playing XI.
Good strikers of the cherry – David Hussey, Owais Shah and Angelo Mathews – have come too far down the order to make an impact consistently.
Charl Langeveldt, who replaced Shane Bond in the loss against Delhi Daredevils, will in all probability make way for Bond against Chargers after his poor show with the Kiwi having recovered from his stomach bug. Ishant Sharma will struggle to keep his place with Ashok Dinda and Ajit Agarkar knocking on the door.
Though Rohit Sharma has been in good nick, his inability to find support in other local batsmen has made his efforts futile. The dependency of the Chargers on the foreign triumvirate of Adam Gilchrist, Herschelle Gibbs and Andrew Symonds has been exposed brutally, first by the Rajasthan Royals and later by the Mumbai Indians.
Once again, the onus will be on Gilly to give his side a whirlwind start at the top, with either Gibbs or Symmo getting a big score. The Chargers can experiment by sending in Tirumalasetti Suman at number three in order to strengthen their lower middle order, which has really lacked stability.
Kemar Roach looks certain to retain his place ahead of Vaas, who might find it a little difficult to comprehend his omission after performing so well in the tournament. RP Singh had his first good outing of the series against the Mumbai Indians and returned with figures of 3-31 in his four overs and Captain Gilly will be hoping that the left armer continues to shine.
The Knight Riders did the double over the Deccan Chargers in the inaugural season of IPL. And, in the second edition in South Africa, DC returned the favour by beating KKR by 6 wickets in Johannesburg and by 8 wickets in Cape Town.
These two teams played the first match of this year’s tournament. The Kolkata Knight Riders are aware of how costly and dangerous a defeat in this fixture will be to their semi-final dream. Shane Bond’s presence was dearly missed in their previous encounter and they will be relieved to have him back for this match.
The Deccan Chargers were well and truly beaten in the last game and would be looking to return to their destructive form with a win here. Kemar Roach may have been expensive in his first game, but had bowled 16 dot balls in four overs as he got his first taste of IPL cricket. He’ll be looking for wickets, at the ultimate hunting ground – the Eden Gardens.
Given the support that KKR get from their crowd, they might just get through with a win against Deccan Chargers. But if Gilly or Symmo come to the party, KKR may find the going really tough.
Both these teams see this win as a ladder to re-enter the top four of the table. The Knight Riders are well aware of their woeful form so far and will send forth their gladiators to secure a much needed win and avoid the bottom half of the table. The Deccan Chargers, who were unable to find solutions against the Mumbai Indians, will look to grab this game by its horns, in an effort to defend the champions’ title.