Kolkata Knight Riders v South Australia, CLT20 2011, Hyderabad September 26, 2011

Knight Riders and South Australia seek quick turnaround

Match facts

Kolkata Knight Riders v South Australia, September 27
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

Both Kolkata Knight Riders and South Australia Redbacks suffered defeats in their opening games, and need quick turnarounds. The Knight Riders are worse off: their campaign has been shorn of momentum after successive losses to Somerset, including one in the qualification round. Gautam Gambhir's return to action after the concussion he suffered in England was closely watched, but fizzled out when he perished first ball. Jacques Kallis and Yusuf Pathan batted extremely well to lift the Knight Riders to 161, but the bowling let them down for the second time in two games, despite not having a perceptible weak link.

South Australia were walloped by the Warriors in their first game, one in which they seemed saddled with one spinner too many. To make matters worse, Shaun Tait endured a forgettable day and was taken apart by JJ Smuts. Coming back from that 53-run hiding will require tremendous depths of resolve, but the fact that their opponents are just as short on confidence should lift their spirits.

It is early days yet, but the Warriors look the most complete side in Group B, which is widely considered the easier one to qualify from. Four other teams could be tussling for the second semi-final spot in the group, and the team that loses on Tuesday could be out of that race.

Watch out for …

Brett Lee played a key role in the Knight Riders' victory against Auckland Aces in the qualifying round, but has not been among the wickets. The chance to steam in against his domestic rivals could fire him up, though.

Michael Klinger was one of the stand-out batsmen in the previous edition of the Champions League. He started well in the chase against the Warriors, but will want to make a bigger contribution against the Knight Riders.

Team news

South Australia will consider dropping one of their three spinners in favour of a seaming option. The Daniels - Harris and Christian - combined to pick up 4 for 47 against Warriors, but the rest of the attack went at over ten runs per over in picking a solitary wicket. The Daniels might be pressed into service earlier on Tuesday.

The Knight Riders have tried Jaydev Unadkat and L Balaji as Lee's support seamer, but neither looked convincing in their respective outings. With the spin depth in their side, they might be better off benching both, provided Jacques Kallis can complete a full spell. His solitary over was pounded for 16 runs in the previous game, which is an area of concern.

Stats and trivia

  • This will be the first encounter between these sides
  • Jacques Kallis is one of only five batsmen to have made more than 100 runs in the tournament. All five played in the qualifiers too.


"We'll obviously sit down and have a chat and the selectors will have another look at it. But playing three spinners has worked very well for us over the last two years and I don't see that being any different on Tuesday or for the rest of the tournament."
Callum Ferguson reveals that South Australia might stick to the three-spinner strategy

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo