Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 23 April 2012 - 10:00pm IST
Preview: Match 32 – KKR v DC
Deccan Chargers seek first win in IPL 2012 as they host Kolkata Knight Riders
The Deccan Chargers and the Kolkata Knight Riders locked horns at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on April 22. Two days later, these teams will go head to head yet again, but at the magnificent Eden Gardens – home to the Knight Riders.
With four wins from seven matches, KKR are locked in a tight race in the middle of the IPL 2012 table. Gautam Gambhir’s team consumed 19 overs to chase down 127 in the previous match. In a tournament where several teams are closely packed and only four can progress to the play-offs, it is important that teams also maintain a very good net run-rate. And KKR will rue the fact that they did not get past the finish line earlier than they did in that game.
The Deccan Chargers are yet to taste success in the tournament. The team from Hyderabad has played five matches, but has ended second best on every occasion. Given that in the IPL the turnaround time between matches is very little, it will be a test of character for Kumar Sangakkara’s team to lift themselves from the bottom of the table.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Despite the fantastic names in their batting line-up, a lot rides on the shoulders of the KKR skipper and opening batsman Gautam Gambhir. Since the southpaw has moved up to open the innings – and moved Jacques Kallis to bat in the middle order ¬– KKR have looked a very dangerous side.
Brendon McCullum and Yusuf Pathan – two of the most explosive players in this format – haven’t done too much in the tournament. But the day either of them gets going, you can be sure there will be only one winner – KKR.
The Deccan Chargers aren’t too dissimilar from the Rajasthan Royals. Both teams aren’t blessed when it comes to the stars. However, while the Rajasthan Royals are performing well as a unit, and punching beyond their weight and winning the crucial moments, DC cannot seem to get their act together.
The team needs some inspiration, and the three players in the DC line-up who are capable of producing those special moments are skipper Kumar Sangakkara, JP Duminy and Dale Steyn. They have an able support cast in Shikhar Dhawan, Parthiv Patel and Amit Mishra. But DC will need the three overseas players to come up with match-winning performances.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have won each of their last five matches against the Deccan Chargers, including their away meeting earlier this season. They boast a 7-2 win-loss record against DC.
The two occasions the Deccan Chargers got the better of KKR was during their title run in IPL 2009.
The Deccan Chargers’ next stop would be the education capital of India – Pune. Kumar Sangakkara’s team is scheduled to take on the Pune Warriors India on April 26. Gautam Gambhir’s KKR will in the meantime enjoy a three-day break before hosting the Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 28.