One of the most awaited matches in the Indian Premier League is just some hours away. Eden Gardens is all set to host an epic match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Sourav Ganguly’s Pune Warriors. What makes this match so interesting is the fact that Ganguly for the first time will lead a team against a team and a city which has always been his. All his life Ganguly has played in this ground and it is expected that more Kolkatans will cheer for him than the team that claims to be there.
KKR will go into the match as clear favorites. They have been playing some good cricket and are number two in the points table. Their involvement in the playoffs looks a certainty. Warriors on the other hand have some real problems, they have lost their four previous matches and they can’t afford a bad game here. Ganguly will be looking to prove a point to the team that neglected and dropped him.
The match is expected to be a tough one for both teams as there are some class players in either side, let’s have a look at some of them.
Jesse Ryder: Ryder was one of the reasons why Pune started so well in the competition. He played some match winning knocks in the initial few matches, later he lost his place because of injury but now he is back again. A lot will depend on how this Kiwi opener starts because that can boost the entire Pune team.
Steven Smith: He has been one of the best finisher in the competition so far. His strike rate is up among the best and his stroke play has been simply wonderful to watch. Smith has surprised one and all with the way he has played in this IPL and he will be looking to continue that form.
Wayne Parnell: He is a genuine swing bowler and bowls at a rapid pace. Parnell has missed quite a few matches and will be looking to cement his place in this Warriors outfit. He can be very effective in the death overs and can make life difficult for the batsmen. His batting skills are an added advantage for him as well as his team.
Ashok Dinda: Dinda missed a few games because of side strain but he is back with the team now. He has bowled some fiery spell for the Warriors and will be hoping to bowl one in today’s match. Dinda has a very aggressive approach when it comes to his bowling and his main role will be to get early wickets.
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Gautam Gambhir: Gambhir has been the best KKR batsmen and he is sole responsible for Kolkata winning so many matches. He started the tournament slowly, but now he is in top gear. He has single-handedly won KKR many matches and has been an inspiration for the rest of his teammates.
Debabrata Das: Das finished the match beautifully against the Chennai Super Kings, Gambhir has already said that Das is a player to watch out for and he has not disappointed his captain. With some of his more fancied teammates failing badly, it is up to this young batsman to provide Knight Riders the late flair.
Jacques Kallis: Kallis has been struggling with the bat, but with the ball he has proven to be quite effective. Kallis is a very experienced cricketer and that makes his a good bowler, he assesses the situation and the batsmen quite well and bowls to a plan.
Rajat Bhatia: He has been very effective in this year’s IPL. His bowling has been very accurate and he has bowled with a good economy rate. His line and length has been emaculate and that has made him a very dangerous bowler.
By Gaurav Jha
Indian Sports News