Chennai v Kolkata, IPL 2011, Chennai

Kolkata seek turnaround in tournament opener

The Preview by Sriram Veera

April 7, 2011

Comments: 96 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

David Hussey is stumped by MS Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL, Kolkata, April 13, 2010
MS Dhoni's men have dominated Kolkata in the past, but will be up against a different bunch of players this time © Indian Premier League
Friday, April 8
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

If India hadn't done well in the World Cup, would it have led to viewer fatigue ahead of the IPL? And since they won, will it translate to an enthusiastic fan base, and even creation of new fans for the game? This IPL will answer that question. There is another question that has been hovering around since the creation of IPL. Have the teams succeeded in creating loyal fan bases? This is the fourth edition and one should ideally see the early signs of loyalty but many teams, barring Chennai Super Kings, have changed their personnel so much that it will be interesting to see how the fans respond. Is fans' parochial affection to the region/city bigger than their love for the players?

For what it's worth, this IPL starts off with a lovely battle within a battle, an ad writer's dream. MS Dhoni, the man who led India to the World cup win, v Gautam Gambhir, the man who played a big hand in that final. It's not as big as the Dhoni v Tendulkar contest, but it's a mouth-watering prospect nevertheless. So far, Chennai have showcased a winning ethos while Kolkata have provided pathos. From seeking glory in the first season and searching for redemption in the second, Kolkata were fighting to avoid humiliation in the last edition. Will this season offer the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel?

Chennai have ensured they didn't lose too many personnel, a move that will have gladdened their fans and their marketing team, and they still are one of the stronger sides in the tournament. In the past, they relied a lot on the spinners and their seam attack largely depended on Doug Bollinger. This year, they have added Nuwan Kulasekara and Tim Southee and that seam attack looks far more potent. The batting will miss the services of Michael Hussey until the end of Australia's tour of Bangladesh and Anirudha Srikkanth might open in his absence, along open with M Vijay. The middle order is pretty established with the likes of Suresh Raina, S Badrinath, MS Dhoni and Albie Morkel.

Kolkata Knight Riders have been looking for a fresh start ever since the nightmarish first season and this season will start on the same premise. Can Gambhir and the new faces turn things around? Ryan ten Doeschate, Jacques Kallis and Eoin Morgan will add great value to a middle order that has often proved brittle in the past. Add to that the menacing presence of Yusuf Pathan, and you are looking at a pretty formidable batting line-up.

Team talk

Kolkata might be forced to play all their available overseas players tomorrow. The likes of Brett Lee, Brad Haddin and Shakib Al Hasan will feature only at the end of Australia's tour of Bangladesh. For Manoj Tiwary, who has decisively slipped under the national radar, this season offers another chance to prove a point or two. Shreevats Goswami, the wicket-keeper batsman who struggled to get a game with Royal Challengers, might get an opportunity to prove his worth.

Anirudha might get a chance to open for Chennai in Hussey's absence. It will be interesting to see if they pair Suraj Randiv with R Ashwin. They are more likely to turn to Shadab Jakati, who has done a good job in the past as a back-up spinner. There is also the interesting sub-plot of S Badrinath. If he performs well, as he has done in the past, the city populace will once again sigh at the alleged "discrimination" against him in the national scene.

In the spotlight

Yusuf Pathan's reputation was built in the IPL and he carried that confidence on to play a couple of furious match-winning knocks for India in ODIs. He was replaced by Suresh Raina near the end of the World Cup and will be itching to showcase his brutal power in this year's IPL. He has the shots, he has the heart - unlike some, he doesn't retreat further into crease every ball in anticipation of the bouncer - and he has the ambition.

Eoin Morgan is that rare commodity in England cricket: an excellent limited-overs batsman. He can unfurl the craziest of the innovative shots and is difficult to contain. He could potentially be the engine of Kolkata's middle order.

In Hussey's absence, M Vijay will have to take up the burden of scoring against the new ball. His career path has been fascinating: he shrugged off the tag of a Test batsman to play some screaming knocks in the shortest form of the game but the criticism against him is that he either goes too slow or plays too many shots. The critics have demanded maturity in his shot selection and his progress will be closely monitored.

Prime numbers

With 520 runs, Suresh Raina was the third highest run getter in the last year's IPL. Kallis, who played for Bangalore, was the second highest scorer with 572, behind Sachin Tendulkar.

Last year, Kolkata featured twice in the top four occasions of a team conceding too many extras. They gave away 20 extras against Chennai and 18 against Punjab.

With 13 wickets apiece, Shadab Jakati and R Ashwin were the top wicket-takers for Chennai last year. Kallis also took 13 wickets while Ashok Dinda, playing for Kolkata, picked up nine wickets.

The chatter

"The batting line-up is as good as last year. IPL is not about less pressure. Batting slots are decided according to situation. When all are shuffled up and down the order, it's according to the situation. If we have to change the batting order, everyone has to be comfortable about doing it.."
MS Dhoni is confident about the might and flexibility of his batting.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Sriram Veera

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by jonesy2 on (April 8, 2011, 14:14 GMT)

i wonder if hilfenhaus or southee or kulasekera o bravo will play in bollingers place?

Posted by jonesy2 on (April 8, 2011, 14:08 GMT)

no hussey and doug for chennai. that hurts. no lee or haddin for kolkata. that also hurts. should be a close one.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 13:04 GMT)

mumbai indian will be win

Posted by RockingRam111 on (April 8, 2011, 13:03 GMT)

Come on CSK and you are going to win the cup without any doubt because you have Mr.Captain Coool and Mr. Cricket..

Posted by aravabalaji on (April 8, 2011, 12:27 GMT)

There is no doubt that Badri has been discriminated in the national scene. When the likes of Ravindra Jadeja were given plenty of chances, this run machine has been left high and dry even after consistent performances. He has all the credentials to be in the Test team.

Posted by Rajiv007 on (April 8, 2011, 12:25 GMT)

Cant wait to see how KKR plays this time with some good names in their line-up... Gambhir and Kallis should open....with Pathan 1st down... this will give him some time their coz both Gambhir and Kallis wont go for shot initially...

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 12:16 GMT)

IPL mean Indian Players are always Leaders in cricket

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 12:01 GMT)

I m supporting CSK but KKR hav a dangerous team so look out fr them......if any one of PATHAN or MORGAN gets going den it will be a tough task.........

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 11:15 GMT)

Kolkata looks a stronger side and might beat Chennai.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 11:12 GMT)

You cannot compare the meaningless IPL to the World Cup. India can celebrate for FOUR long years.

Posted by Amitprotya on (April 8, 2011, 11:06 GMT)

KKR Is not fulfill without Sourav Ganguly.I am not saying it being imotional.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 11:04 GMT)

Definitely not anirudha over Abhinav Mukund who is in cracking form.Ideally with Vijay he can forge upfront with left right combination.Mukund along with Rahane,Pujara is one of the talents India should look at.

Posted by symsun on (April 8, 2011, 11:00 GMT)

I remember Indian after winning T20 WC rallied thro streets in open top buses. Why there is no such celebration after 2011 WC. Instead of glorifying 2011 WC, all (BCCI & Indian team players) moved on to make more money in IPL. Being a cricketer, I feel IPL killing the patriotism our country have for Cricket.

Posted by AllwinJ on (April 8, 2011, 10:34 GMT)

Its a valid point that fans might not be so loyal to the franchise if players are so drastically shuffled. The whole way auctioned is held does not help. Ideally, a player should choose which franchise he wants to play for. This way, the player is just playing for the money without any emotion towards the franchise. Very few players like Sachin, Sehwag and MSD have openly spoken about their preference.

Posted by on (April 8, 2011, 10:19 GMT)

simply waste of time... all are bored with too much cricket...

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 9:40 GMT)

..... tough time for all India students ...... esp.when all the competition exams are there ........ such a challenge to survive this ..........

Posted by bsmv on (April 8, 2011, 8:53 GMT)

chennai looks a very balanced attack

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 8:41 GMT)

delhi daredevils looks very weak this time...

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 8:08 GMT)

KKR won their Opening matches.. when they opened season... Won in 2008 against RCB and 2010against beware CSK

Posted by Razzi2003 on (April 8, 2011, 7:59 GMT)

Can S. Rajesh make stats analysis of IPL's foreign player's performance against India in WC-2011??? That will reveal lots of secrets..

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 7:53 GMT)

no dada no kolkata...............

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 7:50 GMT)

IPL stands for " Incomplete without Pakistani pLayers "

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 7:05 GMT)

Can't wait to see the new-look Kolkata in action - I think they are a far better balanced outfit than last year. That aside, Chennai should feel pretty confident, if anything they are stronger than last year and they will probably be considered favourites.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 7:00 GMT)

IPL is crap , it should be named Bollywood Premier League....

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 6:55 GMT)

The Date of this Article is wrongly written as March 08. It should be April 08.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 6:46 GMT)


Posted by skasa on (April 8, 2011, 6:33 GMT)

Why does it say March 08 in match stats??

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 6:25 GMT)

We won the world cup - does it look like a great achievement ? atleast to me it is not. All websites have moved on their focus to Oz's practice match against Bangladesh and IPL. It is a treasure that we got after 28 years, should we receive it as just a series win ? shouldn't we celebrate more than just on the victory day. Around the world, they host events where the players go on a parade with the world cup around major cities, and share their achievements with the public. In NBA, they do in their home city, and Oz's did the parade in Sydney and Melboure just a week after the cup was won - why not in a cricket crazy country like India. Now, we moved on to IPL, the focus is going to entirely change. The timing of the event is so inappropriate, and IPL money has been dominating the schedules... It may have happend that the IPL organizers would not have thought that India will go so deep in the tournament, such that it would have just few days to recoup and assemble for IPL - it i

Posted by eshwarmv on (April 8, 2011, 6:09 GMT)

The fourth edition of the IPL will be better than the other three versions. The reasons are firstly, the addition of 2 new teams. Second, the WC success. Personally, I thought the WC players will take a break for the first 2 or 3 games , then join the band wagon. But, it is atrocious. The players should take a break at some point during the IPL. India have 2 IMPORTANT tours after IPL. The WEST INDIES and ENGLAND tour. The franchisees must understand the situation of the players.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 5:47 GMT)

best KKR for 2day Gambhir, Bisla, Kallis,morgan, pathan,doeschte ,tiwary abdulla,rajat bhatia, balaji,ladda,Goswami.........

Posted by shaileshij on (April 8, 2011, 5:43 GMT)

good battel to start offffffff

Posted by soumyas on (April 8, 2011, 5:25 GMT)

Raina is Future Tendulkar of india, give him the opening he will blast.

Posted by soumyas on (April 8, 2011, 5:23 GMT)

Its been complete MIX up of players... FANS need atleast 1 week to understand who is playing for which team.... i think only CSK fans know thier players,

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 5:12 GMT)

MSD is definitely on a high and his enthusiasm will spread to the team. But Kolkata have many individual stars who if they gel together can produce a marvelous game of cricket..

Posted by soumyas on (April 8, 2011, 5:12 GMT)

@deepu111 does that mean which ever Fast bowler plays for KKR will end thier career after that?

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 5:00 GMT)

Even if Ra.One and G.One shed their differences and come to play for KKR, they cannot win CSK. CSK belong the land of Raijnkanth.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 4:55 GMT)

@ sunnymachoo - with all due respect , SOB how dare u say that u dont know DADA...

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 4:32 GMT)

i think pradeep sangwan deserves a chance in kkr team bowling deptt

Posted by 9ST9 on (April 8, 2011, 2:37 GMT)

some nice captaincy sub-plots. Tendulkar vs Dhoni - 2 captains from different era's. The old days when India used to be trounced against the modern powerhouse era. Also noteworthy will be the Sangakkara vs Jayawardhana battle. two former skippers who both ended up as WC runners up.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 1:28 GMT)

Since CSK have practically retained their last year's team and so they have the edge on a/c of better bonding.

On the other hand arrival of Gauti as captain should be a big boost for KKR. Players like Eoin, Doeschate and Yousuf could swing it in this format. I believe Wasim is still their bowling coach and it could be factor in providing a good bowling plan.

First 6 overs could provide direction for both teams.

CSK 55 - 45 KKR

Posted by   on (April 8, 2011, 0:17 GMT)

Please correct the Date. Its showing March 8 at 20:00

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 23:14 GMT)

The two teams which I consider as the best in this year's IPL are about to clash. No matter who wins this match, I wish to see both of them in the final !!!

Posted by BanBouncers on (April 7, 2011, 22:24 GMT)

Nuwan Kulasekera and Suraj Randiv in DHONI's CSK ?? Possible reason for SL losing World Cup??

Posted by ravikiran.bits on (April 7, 2011, 21:16 GMT)

tough job for kkr as csk team is well established! ron ten and jack kallis are the key foreign players for kkr! KKR will show up an impressive performances in the upcoming matches. its has a great team! but fresh 1 aswell

Posted by sunnymachoo on (April 7, 2011, 21:05 GMT)

with due respects and apologies, who is dada? =p

Posted by TeamSelector on (April 7, 2011, 20:43 GMT)

1-Gautam Gambhir, 2-Jacques Kallis, 3-Rajat Bhatia, 4-Eoin Morgan, 5-Manoj Tiwari, 6-Yusuf Pathan, 7-Ryan TenDoeschate, 8-Shreewats Goswami, 9-Iqbal Abdulla, 10-James Pattinson, 11-Sarabjit Ladda.

Posted by MSMA on (April 7, 2011, 20:40 GMT)

it will be g8t game Dhoni vs Gutam. looking forward to see yousuf pathan batting in first IPL4. Krk will have opportunity this time to win the IPL4 title.

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 19:26 GMT)

Gautam Gambhir, Yousuf Pathan,Jacques Kallis,Brett Lee to do very well. Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Manoj Tiwary,Jaidev Unadkar,Pradeep Sangwan,:- 3 of these have good day. Rajat Bhatia has a mixed day with positive traits. Ryan ten Doeschate may also prove his worth in the tournament.

Dhoni,Morkel,Southee,,Raina,Randiv may have good time.Dwayne Bravo has mixed day.He may do exceedingly well and bad also. Srikkanth Anirudha , Joginder Sharma,Wridhiman Saha also have mixed day with positive traits. George Bailey has negative day.

Gambhir has a better time than Dhoni

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 19:25 GMT)

kkr lineup stronger than last year,especially in batting.Gambhir can change scenerio but csk will maintain their position, csk can beat kkr.

Posted by Paddy_CSK on (April 7, 2011, 19:16 GMT)

Come on CSK rock it once again...

Posted by Kohli--The_Messi_of_Cricket on (April 7, 2011, 18:54 GMT)

Here is an interesting fact about KKR: KKR have picked, in-arguably, three of the best fast bowlers of the last decade, in each of their seasons. In 2008, they had SHOAIB AKHTAR.. Last year they had SHANE BOND.. This time they have BRETT LEE..

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 18:49 GMT)

CSK will win the game, MSD is the best captain......

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 18:45 GMT)

Best KKR Lineup for tomorrow 1 Gambhir 2 Kallis 3 Morgan 4 Pathan 5 Doeschate 6 Tiwary 7 Bisla 8 Shukla 9 Abdulla 10 Unadkat 11 Shami Ahmed Shami Ahmed could be a surprise as no one knows much about him U hav all rounders like Kallis Pathan Doeschate and Shukla to back up the main bowlers Even Tiwary can bowl a bit

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 18:40 GMT)

GO CHENNAI GO!!!!!!!!!we all know ur the best!!!

Posted by RAAJ101 on (April 7, 2011, 18:29 GMT)


Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 18:25 GMT)

dying to see a better performance by KKR this time around...after 3 devastating seasons...Its a "now or never" kind of a situation...

Posted by tarak4u on (April 7, 2011, 18:07 GMT)

Without dada out and Gambhir in KKR will now win IPL for sure.....Dada has just lost it

Posted by Gee_Cambs on (April 7, 2011, 17:38 GMT)

mumbai to win the tournament..?

Posted by Suhail_20 on (April 7, 2011, 17:36 GMT)

The date at the top says March 08, its April 08.

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 17:25 GMT)

Take a shot at the probable XIs, Veera! :)

Posted by indianzen on (April 7, 2011, 17:16 GMT)

no way... its CSK again and again and again and ever....

Posted by hatsman on (April 7, 2011, 17:04 GMT)

if pathan goes guns blazing then kkr will win but csk have the upper hand in the bowling department

Posted by Casturikiran on (April 7, 2011, 17:03 GMT)

KKR without dada is superb.............Chennai Mumbai and Deccan looks good........Chennai is my favorite.......

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 16:48 GMT)

It will b great to watch if pakistani players were there

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 16:37 GMT)

KKR Should FIRE,Bt it's MS's time so it must hard

Posted by sgd123456 on (April 7, 2011, 16:36 GMT)

IPL should have only 6 wickets for each side... the maniac hitting spoils the game. So you can play 4 specialist bowlers, 6 batsmen (one of whom can keep wickets), and one all-rounder

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (April 7, 2011, 16:33 GMT)

World cricket needs club cricket. I am glad the IPL is underway. I follow the CSK and most of the team is unchanged so I am happy in that regards. I can't understand why the outside viewer despises IPL cricket. It's a 100 times better tournament than the world T20 and ICC Champions Trophy. This year we will see some high quality cricket from all teams. The tournament is only gaining more popularity and strength each year contrary to what some haters and pessimists say. I am proud of the IPL and having seen quite a few games in person last year I can vouch for the high drama and action guaranteed to mesmerize cricket lovers. Can't wait for it to start !!

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 16:33 GMT)

my playing XI for KKR:

gautam gambhir (C) shreevats goswami (Wk) manoj tiwary Jacques Kallis Eoin Morgan yusuf pathan ryan ten doeschate lakshmi ratan shukla Iqbal abdulla lakshmi balaji james pattinson

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 16:30 GMT)

Best of Luck KKR My all time Favorite team and playeras and shahrukh khan...

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 16:27 GMT)

all the best KKR..past is history..lets rock on opening game.

Posted by americancricketfan on (April 7, 2011, 15:51 GMT)

To partly answer your question, I am and have always been a Knight Rider fan. I am disappointed that the past squad failed to live up to the potential they showed on paper, but I am looking forward to a fresh start.

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 15:43 GMT)

IPL Without Dada is like Human without Heart...We will Miss Him and His Long on Sixes

Posted by dbk86 on (April 7, 2011, 15:41 GMT)

best of luk kkr!!!! hpe shakib al hasan will play the next match!!!!

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 15:39 GMT)

This time it is for Kolkata Knight Riders, they will IPL as they have a balanced team.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (April 7, 2011, 15:36 GMT)

Cricket should not be played between April to September in Inida. IPL should be started at the fall of English season and conclude on Diwalii involving India, Pak, Bang and Sril. Internation cricket should follow from then for 4 months.

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 15:35 GMT)

Ghanta IPL, ........................................................................................................

Posted by mandi on (April 7, 2011, 15:16 GMT)

good to see ganguly out from kkr team,now kkr team looking strong

Posted by touchmate_2006 on (April 7, 2011, 15:15 GMT)

this time KKR looks the best. All the best

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 15:03 GMT)

csk has upper hand as their team is established . but single player can swing the game . so i think its 50-50 game

Posted by aktaruz on (April 7, 2011, 15:00 GMT)


Posted by aktaruz on (April 7, 2011, 14:41 GMT)

this TIME is for kkR BEST LUCK GUYS

Posted by SachinIsTheGreatest on (April 7, 2011, 14:31 GMT)

Looking forward to a great IPL season. With the reshuffle of players, it would be interesting again.

And Hoggy_1989, you seemed to have cared enough to post a comment and that too on a mere preview?

Posted by issu24 on (April 7, 2011, 14:29 GMT)

this IPL is a total faltu for public...this ipl sud be banned

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 14:27 GMT)

England fans werent too disappointed about world cup loss because they were still not out of the Ashes win. I dont see how indian fans will have their heart mind or emotion to anything other than the just won world cup win.... Its like a mother who just had a kid being on a trip to paris. Her mind will still be back in the childs birth..... I dont understand why the media and the sponsors are trying to force a hype....

Posted by sliceanddice on (April 7, 2011, 14:25 GMT)

How does the saying go - pride comes before the fall, right? Love Dhoni. CSK, on the other hand, is another matter. Go get 'em, KKR.

Posted by FourSomeFearSome on (April 7, 2011, 14:15 GMT)

IPL is such a useless. The Indian Nautanki, It is so pointless. Seems like Indians have all the time in the world to follow and watch IPL.

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 14:13 GMT)

Its time for KKR to put one across CSK, am sure the battery of all rounders at the disposal of KKR will come in handy this time

Posted by CricSamraat on (April 7, 2011, 13:52 GMT)

Let the ball roll to the bat and out of the ground! People will lap up this delicious bonanza!!!

Posted by ssenthil on (April 7, 2011, 13:43 GMT)

CSK once again will rock KKR, All the Best CSK

Posted by manukankani on (April 7, 2011, 13:32 GMT)

No to cricket its time for only anna hazare.

Posted by ram5160 on (April 7, 2011, 13:27 GMT)

What ? No mention of Mukund- an average of 60 in domestic cricket speaks no lies surely? It would be a shame if Srikanth goes ahead of him.

Posted by Ravipati on (April 7, 2011, 13:22 GMT)

It will be a very good game to watch.... let see who will open their account... Big game between Mr. Cool Vs Mr. Lucky:-)

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 13:15 GMT)

Will miss Sourav. Will miss the Kolkata flavour. Will miss enjoying the IPL

Posted by BhandariShekhar on (April 7, 2011, 13:14 GMT)

IPL 2011 is already a hot selling commodity and with India having won the biggest ODI prize, IPL becomes hotter. The stage is set again and its to be seen who'll put up a show and force his way into the Indian squad after the Ojhas, Pathans etc And for kolkota, time for change in fortunes, although against a formidable looking CSK. Cracker-jacker of an opening game in prospect! Because both sides are full of superstars and led by level-headed leaders who are grounded.

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 13:12 GMT)

I think that Chennai will beat KKR. KKR will be missing Lee and Haddin!!!!!

Posted by Hoggy_1989 on (April 7, 2011, 13:07 GMT)

...and I still don't care. One of 74 pointless 3 hour ad spots with the veneer of a cricket game going on in the background

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Tournament Results
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Super Kings won by 58 runs
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KKR v Mum Indians at Mumbai - May 25, 2011
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