Kolkata, Apr 21: Kolkata Knight Riders would be looking to put their shock defeat against Kochi Tuskers behind and get their act together quickly when they take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in their IPL clash at the Eden Gardens here tomorrow.
Going into the match, the hosts will be little short on confidence after their spineless batting display last night against Kochi outfit where they failed to chase a modest 133-run target.
Thus, it will a great test of character for Gautam Gambhir and company against Bangalore and the Knight Riders will look to come back to winning ways to consolidate themselves at the pole position.
Kolkata, having won three out of five games they have played so far, would have an upper hand against the Bangalore outfit, who lost three back-to-back matches before the previous game got abandoned due to rain.
But the Royal Challengers would be keen to draw confidence from the fact that in Twenty20, scheme of things change significantly in a matter of few big hits. To their advantage, the team would be fresh as their last match—against Rajasthan Royals—was a washout and the two teams split points.
Moreover, inclusion of West Indies explosive opener Chris Gayle, ex-Knight Riders player, ahead of their clash against Kolkata team, may prove to be good for the team. The 31-year-old Gayle, unsigned at the IPL auction last January, was snapped up by the Bangalore outfit to replace the injured Australian fast bowler Dirk Nannes. “Gayle has arrived in India and will be with the team to Kolkata,” Royal Challengers manager Avinaash Vaidhya said.
The West Indies big-hitter will certainly look to prove a point or two against his former team.
And with the likes of Tillakaratne Dilshan, the new Sri Lankan captain, South African AB de Villiers—two prolific batters in the World Cup—and Indian star Virat Kohli in their ranks, the batting line-up looks solid on paper. They also boost of promising batsmen in Cheteshwar Pujara and Saurabh Tiwary but the Bangalore side are yet to click as a unit.
They failed in their chase against Chennai Super Kings and Deccan Chargers, while their batsmen came a cropper against Mumbai Indians to gift the Tendulkar's side an easy win.
Mayank Agarwal seems to be their weak link at the top as he has struggled so far, barring his 33 from 24 balls in the IPL opener against the Kochi Tuskers, which has been their only victory so far. PTI