A confident Kolkata Knight Riders would look to maintain their winning momentum after victories in their first two matches and avert the heartbreak two years ago when they take on a wounded Chennai Super Kings in their Indian Premier League match at Eden Gardens here on Tuesday.
In the inaugural edition in 2008, KKR had beaten Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deccan Chargers in their first two matches — the same two sides they had beaten this year –only to see suffer defeat at the hands of CSK before crashing to a string of losses and never really recover from there.
The celebrations and jigs by Shah Rukh Khan then suddenly came to an end as KKR went on to finish sixth out of eight teams in IPL I, a story that still rankles principal owner Shah Rukh Khan and captain Sourav Ganguly.
KKR have beaten defending champions Deccan Chargers and runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore in their first two matches and would now to look not to repeat the 2008 experience by beating Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men.
The team think-tank seemed to be extra cautious this time as there have been restrained celebration from the team boss Shah Rukh even after their two consecutive wins.
“We have enough celebration in the first IPL and the hangover still remains. Hope to get some more wins and we will celebrate,” said Ganguly following their facile seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore.
It was a clinical effort from Ganguly’s men who first impressed with their disciplined attack led by Angelo Mathews and Murali Kartik to restrict RCB for 135, and then the makeshift opening pair of Manoj Tiwary and Brad Hodge ensured with their twin half centuries that KKR overhaul the target with four balls to spare.
Hodge and Tiwary’s 101-run opening stand must have given Ganguly a relaxed time in the absence of explosive Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum.
In the bowling department, the pace trio of Ishant Sharma, Charl Langeveldt and Angelo Mathews have done well so far but their big challenge will come when they bowl to the likes of big hitters in Matthew Hayden and Dhoni on Tuesday.
Even though Hayden is yet to be a hit form with his high definition Mongoose bat it’s just a matter of good start for the opener who scored 17 in their loss against Deccan Chargers on Sunday.
Dhoni will be hoping to forget the disappointing show by his side in their last match which they lost mainly because of a pathetic last over spell from Sudeep Tyagi who conceded 39 runs from his 1.5 overs to be replaced in the last ball of the last over by Justin Kemp.
CSK would look to sort out their bowling at the slow Eden pitch. With 8pm start, dew will also be a concern for both the teams.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Sourav Ganguly (Captain), Brad Hodge, Manoj Tiwary, Cheteshwar Pujara, Owais Shah, Rohan Gavaskar, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Angelo Mathews, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Charl Langeveldt, Ishant Sharma, Murali Kartik, Ajit Agarkar, Ashok Dinda, Eklakh Ahmed, Harshad Khadiwale, Chirag Pathak, Iqbal Abdulla.
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain), Murali Vijay, Matthew Hayden, Suresh Raina, Subramaniam Badrinath, Justin Kemp, Albie Morkel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Laxmipathy Balaji, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sudeep Tyagi, Hemang Badani, Manpreet Gony, Makhaya Ntini, Thisara Perera, Thilan Thushara, Parthiv Patel.