Surging Kolkata face smarting Chennai
Match factsMonday, April 30, Chennai
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
Big PictureGautam Gambhir often says that if Kolkata Knight Riders play to their potential, they will be very hard to beat. It sounds like a cliché, but on yesterday's evidence, you realise where Gambhir is coming from. Restricting a batting line-up with a top four of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers 47 runs short of the target requires some effort. As he has done before this season, Gambhir backed his words with his bat, cracking 93 off 51 deliveries on an Eden Gardens pitch which has not exactly been easy to score on.
Chennai Super Kings will be smarting after the unexpected reversal against Kings XI Punjab. Before they lost yesterday by seven runs in Chennai, Super Kings had reeled off three consecutive wins at home. Their slow bowlers love choking the opposition batsmen on a helpful Chennai surface, but that is what Knight Riders also do at Eden Gardens. Conditions will be more or less familiar for both sides.
Form guide(completed games, most recent first)
Chennai Super Kings: LWWLW
Kolkata Knight Riders: WWWLW
Players to watch
MS Dhoni has not had done much with the bat this season, with 132 runs from eight innings at a strike-rate of 116.81. He has played a couple of useful cameos, but just nine boundaries so far don't do him any justice.
Gautam Gambhir has been in excellent touch and is easily Knight Riders' best batsman so far, with 302 runs at 149.50. The Chennai pitch and attack will be difficult to score off; will Gambhir show his side the way again?
Stats and trivia
- Super Kings have a 5-2 win-loss record against Knight Riders.
- Runs have been scored faster in Chennai in the IPL, at 8.12 runs per over, than they have been in Kolkata, at 7.54.
"While we had a reasonable team early on, we were struggling to get things going. But moving on five years, the balance of the side we have got is outstanding. We have strengthened both our bowling and batting and you look at the Indian players, they are really standing out. It's definitely a better balanced team.."
Brendon McCullum on Kolkata Knight Riders
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.