Tussle of the leaders and laggers
Friday, April 22, Kolkata
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)
The date is April 22, it is a Friday, and the match is the 24th out of the 74 in this year's IPL. One team will be wearing purple, the other gold and red. The team from Karnataka has used two Karnataka players so far, the number is same for the team from Bengal. To state the obvious, the teams will want to win to improve their chances of making it to the qualifiers. If the match is one-sided, well, there will always be cheerleaders dancing to Bollywood songs and some Black Eyed Peas being played on the PA system at the Eden Gardens.
The people that represented the said teams in previous seasons faced each other six times, and shared the spoils. These, though, are completely different people, and will bring nothing forward from those matches. Kolkata Knight Riders have six points from five matches, and Royal Challengers Bangalore have three from five. So if Bangalore wins, it ought to be considered an upset of sorts.
Bangalore have bought the services of Chris Gayle, and will hope to unleash him on his former team at his former home ground. Expect a few other changes from them to keep the balance of the four overseas players intact.
Kolkata wouldn't want to panic and change a solid combination after their defeat to Kochi Tuskers Kerala.
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In the spotlight
Daniel Vettori will like to bowl at the Eden Gardens if the pitch is anything like it was during the game between Kolkata and Kochi. And as captain and lead spinner, he will want to lead by example and fashion a turnaround for Bangalore.
Yusuf Pathan, a major signing for Kolkata this year, has added superb value with the ball, going at 5.76 an over and leading the wickets chart for Kolkata. But he will want similar impact with bat after having scored just 41 in three innings so far.
- Daniel Vettori's 5.43 is the third-best economy-rate this season for bowlers who have bowled at least ten overs. Yusuf's 5.76 is the fifth-best.
- Jacques Kallis is in the hunt for the orange cap, placed behind Paul Valthaty, Sachin Tendulkar and Brendon McCullum on the top run-getters table.
"It was just one bad day. We have had three wins in a row. We have a lot of positives to take from them."
Gautam Gambhir is not panicking after one defeat
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo