About the Match
Kolkata will be heading into this match with a lot of confidence, whereas Gujarat Lions, after succumbing to conditions and some poor batting displays in recent fixtures will step foot on the ground with a heavy heart.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Champions in Season 5 and 7, The Knight Riders remain on track to maintain their record of winning alternate IPL seasons while share top spot on the table with Lions, and are, inevitably, headed for the playoffs, with four of last five fixtures at home.
It is easy to see why opening batsmen Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa have already amassed more than 700 runs together this season, while hard hitters, Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russel have been lethal at the death. On the other hand, Big Bash star Chris Lynn has not been utilized much.
Indeed, it is a testimony to The Knight Riders' all-round strength that the deterioration of their star player has made little difference. Sunil Narine’s bowling has demonstrated some variety, but the West Indian looks a shadow of the world-class spinner that thrived in previous seasons since his remodeled action.
Despite being on course for the playoffs with 12 points on the points table, there is some doubt that this classy squad is losing its way after three back-to-back thumping defeats. In each case, the batting department suffered heavy losses, with the scores of just 126, 149, and 131 in last three games.
It would be inaccurate to over-react, though, provided that we are discussing a line-up spearheaded by the likes of Suresh Raina, Brendon McCullum, Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Smith, and Aaron Finch. They will prove their worth soon enough, and, to be very fair, the Lions struggled versus some mind boggling Sunrisers’ bowling in the last game.
While Bravo has looked out of sorts with the stick, he has delineated impeccable flair with the ball and has clipped 12 wickets to his name, bowling mostly at the death. As pitches wear as the season goes on, Jadeja and his exciting young spin-partner, Shivil Kaushik will pose some threats as well.
With that extra bit of quality and the urge to come back from defeats, Gujarat Lions seem quite favorite to win this battle between the two giants of Indian Premier League. Yes - Kolkata Knight Riders have been sensational this season, with some of their all-rounders tearing other teams apart.
Nonetheless, Gujarat is a top team and is slightly better in quality, with a bit more discipline and teamwork