After four defeats in as many games, the bottom-ranked Deccan Chargers go head-to-head with the Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 29 of the DLF IPL 2012.
The Deccan Chargers haven’t looked as bad as the results indicate; they’ve been in winning positions in three of the four matches they’ve played, but haven’t quite closed them out. They will have hopefully learnt from their mistakes in those games, and do better in those critical final moments.
The formidable Kolkata Knight Riders were slow to get off the mark in IPL 2012. They lost their opening two games, but came back strongly thereafter to win three off their next four matches. Gautam Gambhir’s team now seems to have understood its best combination and its optimum batting line-up. And KKR are even making the most of the resources at their disposal.
Sunday, April 22, 2011, 08:00 p.m.
Barabati Stadium, Cuttack
Apart from Shikhar Dhawan, there is very little in terms of class and experience among the Indian batsmen in the Deccan Chargers squad. Hence the bulk of the responsibility of scoring runs falls on the shoulders of the overseas players – Kumar Sangakkara, JP Duminy and Daniel Christian.
On the bowling front, Dale Steyn has been their best bowler – not only in terms of wickets, but also in terms of keeping the runs down.
Gautam Gambhir has been Kolkata Knight Riders’ best batsman so far, and for good reason. The KKR skipper batted at No.3 in the first two games, but when things didn’t work out, he took more responsibility and moved up the order. In four innings since that move, he’s scored 163 runs and has looked a completely different batsman.
The form of Jacques Kallis and Yusuf Pathan should be a cause for concern for KKR. Both players are capable of winning matches singlehandedly, but have looked totally out of sorts so far in IPL 2012. How much of a long rope both players will be given by the KKR management remains to be seen.
Sunil Narine has been KKR’s star with the ball. The Trinidadian has several variations in his armory and even players from the sub-continent have failed to read him. How the inexperienced DC batsmen cope with him will certainly make for interesting viewing.
Kolkata Knight Riders will be eyeing their fifth straight win over the Deccan Chargers when the teams take the field. In the four clashes between the two teams since IPL 2010, Kolkata Knight Riders have batted first every time and have restricted DC well below the target.
Overall, KKR lead the head-to-head between the two teams 6-2. Trivia
Though they have a woeful record while playing at home, the Deccan Chargers will be buoyed by the fact that they’ve won both their matches at their adopted home ground – the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack.
Both teams will be seen in action two days later (April 24) when the Kolkata Knight Riders play host to the Deccan Chargers at the Eden Gardens.