Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2011, Kolkata May 6, 2011

Form teams battle for second spot

The Preview by Dustin Silgardo

Match facts

Friday, May 7, Kolkata
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big picture

Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders are on strong runs, and both teams will probably make the play-offs regardless of what happens on Saturday. However, with the new format allowing the top two teams two bites at the cherry in the play-offs, and with Mumbai Indians looking set to take one of those spots, this match is a chance for either side to take a step towards that crucial second spot.

If there is anything to separate the two teams, it is probably that Chennai have more dynamism in their batting. It could be a big factor given the match could be played on a brand new pitch at Eden Gardens, which is expected to produce more runs than previous tracks at the ground.

Gautam Gambhir's continued reluctance to open the batting means Kolkata have plenty of solidity but not much power at the top of the order. Yusuf Pathan has usually come in late in the innings and hasn't had a chance to get his eye in before launching, and the batting is not as deep as Chennai's. All this has meant that while Kolkata have put up decent totals consistently, they have never scored more than 171. If the pitch at Eden Gardens serves up a run-fest, that may not be good enough.

Form guide (most recent first)

Kolkata Knight Riders: LWWWL (second in points table)
Chennai Super Kings: WWWWL (third in points table)

Team talk

In Jacques Kallis and Eoin Morgan, Kolkata have two openers who are striking at less than 125 in this IPL. It would be a bold move to drop either of them, but bringing in Ryan ten Doeschate or Shakib Al Hasan could help match the Chennai middle order, which contains Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Albie Morkel and S Badrinath, all of whom have strike-rates of more than 130. L Balaji is expected to be back for Kolkata after he was rested from the previous game. Chennai should go in unchanged, unless they decide to rest somebody.

Predict the playing XIs for this match. Play ESPNcricinfo Team selector.

In the spotlight

Brett Lee has bowled well without much reward in this tournament: he has three wickets in seven games and has gone at 7.48. Against Kochi Tuskers on Thursday, his last over was smashed for 22 runs. But his luck has to turn at some stage.

Lee's countryman Doug Bollinger has been impossible to get away in the end overs. His mix of full deliveries outside off stump and short-of-length deliveries has allowed him to maintain an economy-rate of 6.21, even though he bowls at times when the batsmen are looking for quick runs.

Prime numbers

  • While bowling in the last four overs, Bollinger has conceded just 62 runs off 60 deliveries during the tournament, and has picked up six wickets

  • Jacques Kallis' strike-rate of 109.58 is the lowest among the ten leading run-getters in this IPL.

The chatter

"In the last two games, the spinners have pulled us back into the contest after good starts by our opponents. They have been consistent and have tied the batsmen down. So it will be challenging if we lose Suraj Randiv in the latter stages of the tournament."

Michael Hussey is worried about Randiv departing to play for Sri Lanka in England at a crucial stage

"The ground holds some good memories. We came into the match 1-0 down and won it to level the series and become the No. 1 Test team in the world. Personally, I was not very successful, but it was part of a learning curve."

The last Test S Badrinath played was at Eden Gardens against South Africa

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    KKR is going to drub CSK at its home. Tit for Tat for sure. Gambhir the future India Captain will knock off MSD today.

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    now it's interesting time to chennai super kings who is in the form n they can win today's game when rain will stopped n the final will be of kkr n csk or mi n csk or kkr n mi

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    thr is something is nt going r8 for kkr..& its nt working well from them..best of luck kkr//

  • Fahad Islam on May 7, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    i love KKR. but i surprised to watching last three game of KKR. because Best all rounder sakib al hasan is in sideline.how funny !!!!!!!!!!! is boucher is better then Sakib.i dont know. i hope Sakib,doescate will play next game.otherwise kkr will lose., probably

  • Gururajan on May 7, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    IPL Cricket is a game which gets over only by the end of the 40th over in the normal course.The match is not over in one or two overs.It s another sport for those who do not give up but fight till the end. More of a mind game played under stress. It is a game generally dominated by individual brilliance on the given day where the result is due to one man show. However , when more than one or two players excel in their field in a match the game reaches a high standard. Its a team game no doubt , but the skipper makes the difference.

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    I couldn't understand what KKR management thinking abt thei XI, they have played Shakib only 4 match & he took 7 wicket's, after that they drops him, why ? now they are playing useless Boutcher, If the things goes like that, they couldn't do better ?! Come on KKR wake up, pick your best XI ...

  • Alamgir on May 7, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    Very, very wrong choice Mark Boucher. Instead Tamim would be thousand times better option as they have already two keepers.

  • Alamgir on May 7, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    Put Pathan in top order, may be in opening position and include Sakib to strengthen the spin attack as well as middle order batting power. KKR team management may think about the proposal if they want to win over better CSK.

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    Yusuf Pathan will hold the key for the KKR's today..............

  • sukanta on May 7, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    i don't think kkr will be into the semis.....plz don't forget the opponents of kkr in the last four matches including todays one......CSK,RCB,PUNE(Dada will not miss such a huge chance) and ofcourse the mighty Mumbai.....(the only time kkr beat mumbai when they rest all their main players)......and definitely the run rate will be not good if they loose those.....let's see what happens....and off course don't think Kallis is not a valuable player as a top order batsman....don't know why srk have sooooo faith on him.......!!!!

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