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The Preview by Rachna Shetty
May 8, 2013
Match factsThursday, May 9, 2013
Big pictureIn theory, Kolkata Knight Riders can pull off something short of a miracle. In theory, they can make it to fourth place and qualify for the playoffs. The operative words in both the sentences: 'in theory'.
Like Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, Knight Riders have been poor travelers this season but unlike the other two teams, they haven't capitalised on the home advantage. It's made for a dismal situation at a crucial stage in the points table and they go into the match against Pune Warriors with four wins in 12 games.
They need to win all their matches and then pray for some mutualism within the league, that will allow them to move to the fourth spot.
Two of their last four matches are against Warriors, a team that is trying to beat the ignominy of finishing among the last two spots in the table for the third successive year. With a regular shuffle in leadership, lack of good bowling at the death and inconsistency in the field, they've drifted to the bottom of the table and out of the competition.
Form guide(most recent first)
Players to watchAaron Finch was finally given the captaincy of the side after a startling leadership roulette that did no good to the team. While he hasn't been able to helm a team pulling away in all directions, his own performance has been decent. As an opener, he's got the team off to good starts with Robin Uthappa, though the failure of the middle order has hampered the team. With the pressure off his back, he'll be hoping to upset Knight Riders' plans.
Given the lack of teeth in the pace attack, and Ryan McLaren's poor performance against Mumbai, Ryan ten Doeschate may get a look-in. The Netherlands allrounder hasn't played a single game this season and his inclusion will bring some depth to a weak middle order, while giving the captain an extra bowling option.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"I think from here it makes us a dangerous side. Teams will take us lightly and it gives us an extra bit of positivity than anything else. We are not going to sit and sulk about it."
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